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- PublicationThe effects of a neuromuscular electrical stimulation training intervention on physiological measures in a spinal cord injured male : a case studyBackground: People with spinal cord injury (SCI) are exposed to the development of comorbidities secondary to a decreased ability to exercise and pathological complications. Aerobic exercise has been advocated as a means of preventing the development of these illnesses. Previous research has indicated that functional electrical stimulation (FES) provides an appropriate aerobic stimulus in an SCI population to provide cardiovascular fitness gains. However, FES devices are time consuming for both clients and medical staff in a rehabilitation and home setting with devices often expensive. Our research group have developed a novel neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) system which may provide an alternative to FES and elicit a similar response. Methods: A 40 year old male with a T6 incomplete SCI, undertook 6 weeks of NMES training for one hour, five days per week. Pre and post intervention measures include a treadmill VO2 peak test, a DXA scan and subjective feedback regarding the NMES device and training stimulus. Results: Improvements in VO2 peak, heart rate and exercise tolerance were observed with minor decreases in total body fat mass. The participant reported that the NMES was an acceptable form of cardiovascular training. Conclusion: Our pilot case study has indicated that our NMES system is capable of eliciting an aerobic training effect in people with SCI, which could potentially improve their cardiovascular fitness. Further study with a greater number of participants is warranted in this population using a similar training program.
- PublicationThe effects of an electrical muscle stimulation training intervention on physiological measures in a spinal cord injury maleParticipation in aerobic exercise activity is considered necessary for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to reduce the potential development of common co-morbidities associated with SCI such as cardiovascular (CV) disease, reduced bone mineral density (BMD), increases in body fat and decreases in lean body mass. Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) has been advocated as offering a feasible exercise regime to SCI individuals. FES studies have reported improvements in BMD, CV fitness, body composition (BC) and quality of life (QOL), however its application is limited by its effect on muscle fatigue, as well as the need for specialist equipment and training. Recently, researchers have developed a new type of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) system, which appears to overcome the above issues. This system has improved heart rate (HR) and peak muscle oxygen consumption (VO2) within Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) patients, obese and sedentary adults [3,4]. An SCI population may benefit from a similar intervention and justifies further research into the effects this EMS system may have on SCI.
- PublicationAcute physiological responses to electrical muscle stimulation in a spinal cord injured man – a case studyCardiovascular (CV) disease is a leading cause of death in populations with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and is contributed to by a lack of opportunities to engage in physical activity as well as limited motor function . Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) has been suggested as a novel CV training tool to alleviate this problem associated with SCI by increasing peak oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate (HR) . However the use of FES is limited by its effect on muscle fatigue as well as the need for specialist equipment and training. Our research group have devised an electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) training device which has improved CV health in obese and chronic heart failure populations , whose symptoms are akin to those of SCI patients with CV symptoms. These results warrant further investigation into this system`s effects on the CV health of people with SCI.