A study on the immediate effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on the corticospinal tract excitability of the infraspinatus muscle

Naoto Endo, Daisuke Ishii, Kiyoshige Ishibashi, Satoshi Yamamoto, Kotaro Takeda, Yutaka Kohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Rotator cuff muscles are structurally and functionally different from other upper-limb muscles because they are responsible for glenohumeral joint stability. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) induces excitability changes (increase or decrease) of the corticospinal tract (CST) in the peripheral muscles, such as those of the finger. However, it remains unclear whether similar results are obtained when targeting the infraspinatus muscle, which has properties that differ from other muscles, in healthy subjects. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the immediate effects of NMES on the corticospinal excitability of the infraspinatus muscle, a rotator cuff muscle, in healthy subjects. METHODS: Thirteen healthy right-handed men (mean age: 26.77 ± 2.08 years) participated in this study. The motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and the maximum compound muscle action potential (Mmax) were recorded before NMES to the right infraspinatus and within 15 minutes after the end of the NMES. RESULTS: NMES on the infraspinatus muscle significantly increased its MEP amplitude (Pre: 0.45 mV [0.33-0.48]; Post: 0.54 mV [0.46-0.60] (median [lower quartile to higher quartile]); p= 0.005) but had no effect on Mmax (Pre: 2.95 mV [2.59-4.71]; Post: 3.35 mV [2.76-4.72]; p= 0.753). CONCLUSIONS: NMES application to the infraspinatus muscle increases CST excitability without producing immediate changes in the neuromuscular junction or muscle hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-637
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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