Effects of Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycling of Different Duration on Viscoelastic and Electromyographic Properties of the Knee in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

Antonino Casabona, Maria Stella Valle, Claudio Dominante, Luca Laudani, Maria Pia Onesta, Matteo Cioni
2020 Brain Sciences  
The benefits of functional electrical stimulation during cycling (FES-cycling) have been ascertained following spinal cord injury. The instrumented pendulum test was applied to chronic paraplegic patients to investigate the effects of FES-cycling of different duration (20-min vs. 40-min) on biomechanical and electromyographic characterization of knee mobility. Seven adults with post-traumatic paraplegia attended two FES-cycling sessions, a 20-min and a 40-min one, in a random order. Knee
more » ... excursion, stiffness and viscosity were measured using the pendulum test before and after each session. Surface electromyographic activity was recorded from the rectus femoris (RF) and biceps femoris (BF) muscles. FES-cycling led to reduced excursion (p < 0.001) and increased stiffness (p = 0.005) of the knee, which was more evident after the 20-min than 40-min session. Noteworthy, biomechanical changes were associated with an increase of muscle activity and changes in latency of muscle activity only for 20-min, with anticipated response times for RF (p < 0.001) and delayed responses for BF (p = 0.033). These results indicate that significant functional changes in knee mobility can be achieved by FES-cycling for 20 min, as evaluated by the pendulum test in patients with chronic paraplegia. The observed muscle behaviour suggests modulatory effects of exercise on spinal network aimed to partially restore automatic neuronal processes.
doi:10.3390/brainsci11010007 pmid:33374653 fatcat:3z4yilvpyrhhzaea54kqlm7afa