The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the long-term efficacy of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) on reducing lower limb post-stroke spasticity in adults. A systematic electronic search of PubMed/ MEDLINE, Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), Scopus, Ovid MEDLINE(R), and search engine of Google Scholar was performed. Publications that ranged from January 2010 to August 2020, published in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian language and available as full texts were eligible for inclusion and they were searched without any restrictions of country. The study was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and followed the recommendations of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Two authors screened the references, extracted data, and assessed the risk of bias. The primary outcome was spasticity grade mainly assessed by the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). Secondary outcomes were passive range of motion (PROM), pain intensity, electrophysiological parameters, gait assessment, and adverse events. A total of seven recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis, and a beneficial effect on spasticity was found. The high level of evidence presented in this paper showed that ESWT ameliorates spasticity considering the parameters: MAS: standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.53; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): (0.07–0.99); Modified Tardieu Scale (MTS): SMD = 0.56; 95% CI: (0.01–1.12); Visual Analogue Scale (VAS): SMD = 0.35; 95% CI: (−0.21–0.91); PROM: SMD = 0.69; 95% CI: (0.20–1.19). ESWT presented long-term efficacy on lower limb post-stroke spasticity, reduced pain intensity, and increased range of motion. The effect of this novel and non-invasive therapy was significant and the intervention did not present adverse events, proving a satisfactory safety profile.
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