The importance of muscle "spasm" as a symptom of acute poliomyelitis has received emphasis since the Kenny1 concepts of the symptomatology and treatment of this disease have come into prominence. Muscular pain, tenderness and shortening have been recognized for many years as characteristic features of acute poliomyelitis and have been described by different authors, particularly by Lovett2 and by Ober,3 who have advocated treatment with local heat in the form of hot fomentations and by gentle passive movements followed by active muscle reeducation. In recent studies of "spasm," Schwartz and his associates4 have recorded electrical potentials from muscles in cases of acute poliomyelitis with a cathode ray oscillograph and found widespread hyperirritability to stretching, not only in muscles which appeared to be in "spasm," but also in their antagonists and in those clinically unaffected.
In addition to muscular "spasm," Kenny has emphasized functional paralyses of the
WATKINS AL, BRAZIER MAB, SCHWAB RS. CONCEPTS OF MUSCLE DYSFUNCTION IN POLIOMYELITIS: BASED ON ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC STUDIES. JAMA. 1943;123(4):188–192. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840390008003
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