The effects of circumferential pressure on the soleus muscle F-wave in healthy subjects

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Circumferential pressure (CP) was shown to decrease muscle activity in subjects without neuromuscular disorders and in individuals with spinal cord injury and cerebrovascular accidents. The mechanism for this decrease is unknown although it is hypothesized to be spinal in origin. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect CP has on the soleus F-wave. Results will help determine the mechanism CP uses to effect motoneuron reflex excitability. Thirty-seven healthy volunteers participated. A 16. cm air-splint was placed around the calf and during the pressure phase of the experiment it was inflated to 40-45. mm Hg. F-waves were evoked by supra maximally stimulating (20% > Mmax) the tibial nerve with a 0.1. ms pulse at 0.2. Hz using a bipolar surface electrode on the skin of the popliteal fossa. Fifty F-waves were recorded before (baseline), during, and 3) after CP was applied. F-waves were then identified and mean latency, persistence, and mean F/Mmax amplitude ratios were measured and calculated. Friedman Repeated Measures on Ranks tests were conducted on each of the three parameters (p≤ 0.05). No statistically significant difference was found for any of the F-wave parameters evaluated. These results were contrary to previous CP studies that observed a significant decrease in muscle activity. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication Title

Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology