Effect of rectangular and exponentially climbing waveforms on knee extension torque during neuromuscular electrical stimulation

Genichi Tanino, Yutaka Tomita, Abbas Orand, Kotaro Takeda, Ken Tomida, Hiroyuki Miyasaka, Kensuke Ohno, Sayaka Okamoto, Shigeru Sonoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Electrical stimulation is shown to be effective for the amelioration of paralysis. The stimulation pattern can have a direct relation to injected charge in the stimulated area resulting in a wider area stimulation and consequently better recovery. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we investigated the effect of two electrical stimulation waveforms, rectangular and exponentially climbing. Three parameters of current, voltage, and knee extension torque of the 2 waveforms were recorded and used for the comparison of the two waveforms. METHODS: Fifteen male and 15 female able-bodied subjects (age: 25.0 ± 3.2) were recruited. Electrical stimulation was applied to right quadriceps muscles. At the maximum tolerable intensity, the 3 parameters were recorded for each of the 2 waveforms. Using the recorded knee extension torques, the adjusted maximum electrically induced contraction to voluntary torques in percent (%MEIC) of the two waveforms were calculated. Together with the other two parameters, current and voltage, the 2 waveforms were compared. RESULTS: The %MEIC and maximum voltage were significantly higher with the exponentially climbing waveform than with the rectangular waveform (%MEIC:p <0.05, max voltage:p <0.01). The maximum current did not differ significantly between conditions. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that an exponentially climbing waveform may induce stronger torque than a rectangular waveform and might thus be useful when applying NMES in clinical situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalTechnology and Disability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Informatics


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