Effect of Task Specific Training on Central Post-stroke Pain in a Sub-acute Stroke Patient: A Case Report

Background: Task specific training is a movement rehabilitation technique that involves repetitive practice of functional tasks with the affected limb. The aim of this case report is to report its effect on central post stoke pain (CPSP) in a sub-acute stroke patient.
Case Presentation: The patient was a 45 year old man with signs and symptoms suggestive of ischaemic stroke. Diagnostic criteria form and the douleur neuropathique 4 questionnaire (DN4Q) were used to assess the patient. The pain was a severe (a score of 10 on visual analogue scale, VAS) hemibody biting cold sensation, with a score of 5 on DN4Q. Patient practiced with the affected upper limb: picking up a cup and drinking from it, teeth brushing, drawing a circle, transferring his cell phone from one side to another on a table and taking his hand to the temple of his head. Each task was practiced 20 times per session, 3 times a day for 4 weeks. Similarly, forward, backward, sideward, and inward stepping were practiced with the affected lower limb. Each task was practiced 25 times per session, 3 times a day for 4 weeks. At 2 weeks, the pain intensity decreased (a score of 4 on VAS) and a score of 2 on DN4Q. At 4 weeks, the pain completely disappeared. Conclusion: TST improved CPSP in a patient with acute stroke. However, further studies are required to confirm the finding of this report especially considering the limitations of case reports.

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Vincent Pol University in Lublin