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August 4, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(14):1027. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860310041014

Still in the field of controversy is the concept that spasm in the antagonists of muscles weakened by poliomyelitis is the damaging symptom. The use of the Kenny technic for combating this symptom relieves pain and stiffness. Many observers have reported that this method minimizes deformities and the degree of paralysis. These observations have tended to discourage passive splinting and to promote active treatment in the acute stage of the disease.

Muscle spasm can be studied by physical methods in which the personal or subjective element is largely eliminated. Extremely minor contractions of muscle in situ can be recorded by action currents. A particular pattern of action current records is established as definite evidence of muscle spasm. For purposes of recording, spasticity in a muscle can be evoked by a sudden stretching of the muscle. Schwartz and Bouman1 made oscillographic records of muscle action in 7 cases of poliomyelitis,