Cycling with plantar stimulation increases cutaneomuscular-conditioned spinal excitability in subjects with incomplete spinal cord injury

Stefano Piazza*, Diego Serrano-Muñoz, Julio Gómez-Soriano, Diego Torricelli, Gerardo Avila-Martin, Iriana Galan-Arriero, Jose L Pons, Julian Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a rehabilitation exercise for people with incomplete Spinal Cord Injury (iSCI), based on cycling and combined afferent electrical stimulation (ES-cycling), to normalize spinal activity in response to a plantar cutaneous stimulation. We studied Soleus H-reflex excitability following ipsilateral plantar electrical stimulation applied at 25–100 ms inter-stimulus intervals (ISI’s), on 13 non-injured subjects and 10 subjects with iSCI. Reflexes were tested before and after a 10 min session of ES-cycling to evaluate the effects of the exercise. Plantar-conditioned H-reflex modulation increased in the iSCI group after ES-cycling, compared to the limited modulation observed before the exercise. Conversely, the non-injured group presented pronounced modulation both before and after the exercise. We conclude that ES-cycling improved plantar-conditioned spinal neuronal excitability in subjects with iSCI. Results could be used in the design of more effective leg-cycling therapies, to promote central neuroplasticity and rehabilitation in lower limb muscle activity following iSCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiosystems and Biorobotics
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages33-37
Number of pages5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameBiosystems and Biorobotics
Volume15
ISSN (Print)2195-3562
ISSN (Electronic)2195-3570

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence

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