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See detailOPTIMAL ELECTRODES SETTING FOR TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL STIMULATION OF THE QUADRICEPS
Vanderthommen, Marc ULg; Troka, Sylvie; Demoulin, Christophe ULg

in Loland, S.; Fasting, K.; Ommundsen, Y. (Eds.) et al Book of Abstracts of 14th annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science (2009, June)

Introduction Treatment or training sessions with neuromuscular electrical stimulations (NMES) are generally performed in a transcutaneous manner with the aid of surface electrodes. Several investigators ... [more ▼]

Introduction Treatment or training sessions with neuromuscular electrical stimulations (NMES) are generally performed in a transcutaneous manner with the aid of surface electrodes. Several investigators have highlighted the benefits of quadriceps stimulation during rehabilitation following traumatic injury or surgery of the knee and during physical preparation of athletes (Kramer and Mendryyk, 1982). However, the practical modalities of quadriceps stimulation (number, size and localization of electrodes) remain controversial (Vanderthommen and Duchateau, 2007). The present work aimed to determine the optimal electrodes setting for NMES applied to the quadriceps. Methods Twenty physically active men (23 ± 2 years, 180 ± 8 cm, 75 ± 12 Kg) underwent first an evaluation of left quadriceps maximal isometric voluntary torque (QMIVT). The exact localization of the motor points of vastus medialis (MPVM) and vastus lateralis (MPVL) was also determined. Then, we tested unilaterally, isometrically and consecutively five electrodes settings (ES) including rectangular (10 x 5 cm) (RE) or square (5 x 5 cm) (SE) electrodes, with identical stimulation parameters (biphasic symmetric rectangular pulses, 80 Hz, pulse duration 0.35 ms, constant current intensity (42 ± 11 mA)): ES1= 1 channel, 2 RE transversally on the thigh (with the distal electrode placed on MPVM and MPVL); ES2= 1 channel, 2 RE longitudinally on MPVM and MPVL; ES3= 1 channel, 2 SE on MPVM and MPVL; ES4= 2 channels, 4 SE (with 2 SE placed on MPVM and MPVL); ES5= 2 channels, channel 1= 1 SE on MPVM and 1 RE transversally on the proximal part of the thigh, channel 2= 1 SE on MPVL and 1 RE transversally on the proximal part of the thigh. For each ES we measured the electrostimulated torque. Results The mean QMIVT reached 200 ± 51 Nm. The MPVM and MPVL were situated 10 ± 2 cm and 14 ± 3 from the patellar base, respectively. The stimulated contractions reached 9.2 ± 7.4 Nm (4.6% of QMIVT) for ES1, 8 ± 4.8 Nm (4% of QMIVT) for ES2, 15 ± 8.3 Nm (7.5% of QMIVT) for ES3, 16.3 ± 7.7 Nm (8.2% of QMIVT) for ES4 and 40.4 ± 11.3 Nm (20.2% of QMIVT) for ES5 (p<0.05). Discussion During NMES programs it appears crucial to use a proper electrode setting ensuring efficient muscle recruitment and therefore optimized training effects. However, physiotherapists and trainers often place electrodes empirically especially for NMES applied to the quadriceps. This study demonstrated the relevance of using two channels for quadriceps NMES and of setting, for each channel, one small “excitative” electrode exactly on the motor point of vastus medialis or lateralis and one bigger “dispersive” electrode transversally on the proximal part of the thigh (in order to close the circuit). References Kramer JF, Mendryyk SW. (1982). Phys Ther, 4, 1657-1667. Vanderthommen M, Duchateau J. (2007). Exerc Sport Sci Rev, 35, 180-185. [less ▲]

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