Distribution of M-Wave and H-Reflex in Hand Muscles Evoked via Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation: A Preliminary Report

Luis Vargas, John Baratta, Xiaogang Hu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) targeting the muscle belly is commonly used to restore muscle strength in individuals with neurological disorders. However, early onset of muscle fatigue is a major limiting factor. Transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TNS) can delay muscle fatigue compared with traditional NMES techniques. However, the recruitment of Ia afferent fibers has not be specifically targeted to maximize muscle activation through the reflex pathway, which can lead to more orderly recruitment of motor units, further delaying fatigue. This preliminary study assessed the distribution of M-wave and H-reflex of intrinsic and extrinsic finger muscles. TNS was delivered using an electrode array placed along the medial side of the upper arm. Selective electrode pairs targeted the median and ulnar nerves innervating the finger flexors. High-density electromyography (HD EMG) was utilized to quantify the spatial distribution of the elicited activation of finger intrinsic and extrinsic muscles along the hand and forearm. The spatial patterns were characterized through isolation of the M-wave and H-reflex across various stimulation levels and EMG channels. Our preliminary results showed that, by altering the stimulation amplitude, distinct M-wave and H-reflex responses were evoked across EMG channels. In addition, distinct stimulation locations appeared to result in varied levels of reflex recruitment. Our findings indicate that it is possible to adjust stimulation parameters to maximize reflex activation, which can potentially facilitate physiological recruitment order of motoneurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages5897-5900
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728111797
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2021 - Virtual, Online, Mexico
Duration: Nov 1 2021Nov 5 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
ISSN (Print)1557-170X

Conference

Conference43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2021
Country/TerritoryMexico
CityVirtual, Online
Period11/1/2111/5/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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