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Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology

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The aim of the present study was to quantify the effect of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) intervention using a portable device on muscle strength and activation patterns in locomotive syndrome. Nineteen women were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 10; age = 71–82 years) and control group (n = 9; age = 70–84 years). Participants in the intervention group used a portable EMS device to stimulate the bilateral quadriceps muscles for 8 weeks (23 min/5 days/week). To understand the effects of EMS, the following measurements were made at baseline, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks: locomotive syndrome assessment score, knee extensor strength, vastus lateralis muscle activation patterns during a maximal isometric knee extension contraction using multi-channel surface electromyography, and muscle thickness. The locomotive syndrome assessment, muscle strength, muscle thickness, and muscle activity patterns in the intervention group were significantly different to control after 8 weeks (p < 0.05). However, these results were not sustained at 12 weeks. EMS increased locomotor assessment scores, which were accompanied by enhanced muscle strength, increased muscle thickness, and changes in muscle activation patterns in locomotive syndrome patients. These results suggest that EMS is potentially useful for improving muscle neural activation and force output in locomotive syndrome.


Accepted version. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Vol. 45 (April 2019): 46-52. DOI. © 2019 Elsevier. Used with permission.

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