Journal:J. Appl. Physiol.
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):01, 91, 3, 1168-1175
The posttraumatic response to burn injury leads to marked and prolonged skeletal muscle catabolism and weakness, which persist despite standard rehabilitation programs of occupational and physical therapy. We investigated whether a resistance exercise program would attenuate muscle loss and weakness that is typically found in children with thermal injury. We assessed the changes in leg muscle strength and lean body mass in severely burned children with >40% total body surface area burned. Patients were randomized to a 12-wk standard hospital rehabilitation program supplemented with an exercise training program (n = 19) or to a home-based rehabilitation program without exercise (n = 16). Leg muscle strength was assessed before and after the 12-wk rehabilitation or training program at an isokinetic speed of 150°/s. Lean body mass was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. We found that the participation in a resistance exercise program results in a significant improvement in muscle strength, power, and lean body mass relative to a standard rehabilitation program without exercise.