, Volume 111, Issue 10, pp 2391-2397
Date: 25 Aug 2011

Electrical stimulation for neuromuscular testing and training: state-of-the art and unresolved issues

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Introduction

Contrary to other widespread forms of electrical stimulation, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and functional electrical stimulation (FES), neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is generally delivered to the muscle in static conditions (without functional movement occurring) and at sufficiently high current intensities to evoke visible muscle contractions (beyond motor threshold). NMES has received increasing attention in the last few years, because it has the potential to serve as:

  • a strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes, since its chronic use may induce neuromuscular adaptations similar/complementary to voluntary strength training;

  • a rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially- or totally immobilized patients, since its chronic use may preserve muscle mass and function during prolonged periods of reduced muscular use;

  • a testing tool for evaluating the neural and/or muscular function in vivo, since it is able to induce s

Communicated by Susan A. Ward.
This article is published as part of the Special Issue Cluster on the XVIII Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK 2010) that took place in Aalborg, Denmark on 16–19 June 2010.