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Effects Of Electrical Stimulation-induced Gluteal Versus Gluteal And Hamstring Muscles Activation On Sitting Pressure Distribution In Persons With A Spinal Cord Injury

C. Smit, G. Haverkamp, S. Groot, J. Stolwijk-Swuste, T. Janssen
Published 2012 · Medicine

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Study design:Ten participants underwent two electrical stimulation (ES) protocols applied using a custom-made electrode garment with built-in electrodes. Interface pressure was measured using a force-sensitive area. In one protocol, both the gluteal and hamstring (g+h) muscles were activated, in the other gluteal (g) muscles only.Objectives:To study and compare the effects of electrically induced activation of g+h muscles versus g muscles only on sitting pressure distribution in individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI).Setting:Ischial tuberosities interface pressure (ITs pressure) and pressure gradient.Results:In all participants, both protocols of g and g+h ES-induced activation caused a significant decrease in IT pressure. IT pressure after g+h muscles activation was reduced significantly by 34.5% compared with rest pressure, whereas a significant reduction of 10.2% after activation of g muscles only was found. Pressure gradient reduced significantly only after stimulation of g+h muscles (49.3%). g+h muscles activation showed a decrease in pressure relief (Δ IT) over time compared with g muscles only.Conclusion:Both protocols of surface ES-induced of g and g+h activation gave pressure relief from the ITs. Activation of both g+h muscles in SCI resulted in better IT pressure reduction in sitting individuals with a SCI than activation of g muscles only. ES might be a promising method in preventing pressure ulcers (PUs) on the ITs in people with SCI. Further research needs to show which pressure reduction is sufficient in preventing PUs.
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