M Ladouceur (Center for
Sensory-Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark)
Contact Person: Michel Ladouceur (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the modulation of the soleus stretch reflex by using electrical conditioning stimuli to the peroneal nerve (common, deep and superficial) as well as to the plantaris nerve. Stretches (amplitude: 4 deg ; velocity: 2,02 rad*s-1) where applied to the precontracted (force level: 5Nm) triceps surae muscle of participants with no know neurological impairment (N=10) following conditioning by an electrical stimulation applied to each of the four different sites (intensity: 4 * motor or sensory threshold) with different conditioning-test interval (0 - 1000 ms). The inhibition of the Soleus stretch reflex was greater with a conditioning stimulus applied to the common peroneal nerve. This inhibition with a conditioning stimulus to the common peroneal nerve was greater in the relaxed situation (around 90%) and decreased with a precontraction (range: 2,5 - 10,0 Nm) of the triceps surae (around 70%). This inhibition was also dependent on the intensity of the conditioning stimulus to the common peroneal nerve (range: 1-4 * tibialis anterior motor threshold) Furthermore, this inhibition was related to an increase in the threshold of the soleus stretch reflex as a function of the stretch velocity (range: 0,45-2,02 rad*s-1). This study, in conjunction with other studies of the long term effect of common peroneal nerve stimulation, show the interesting possibility of using the stimulation of the common peroneal nerve in the treatment of ankle extensors spasticity.
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