Elicited Finger and Wrist Extension Through Transcutaneous Radial Nerve Stimulation

Yang Zheng, Xiaogang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Individuals with neurological disorders, such as stroke or spinal cord injury, often have weakness and/or spasticity in their hand and wrist muscles, which can lead to impaired ability to extend their fingers and wrists. Functional electrical stimulation can help to restore these motor functions. However, the conventional stimulation method can lead to fast muscle fatigue and limited movements due to a non-physiological recruitment of motor units and a limited recruitment of deep muscles. In this paper, we investigated the feasibility of eliciting various hand opening and wrist extension movement patterns through a transcutaneous electrical stimulation array, which targeted the proximal segment of the radial nerve bundle proximal to the elbow. The wrist and finger joint kinematics were used to classify the different movement patterns through a cluster analysis, and electromyogram signals from the wrist and finger extensors were recorded to investigate the muscle activation patterns. The results showed that the finger and wrist motions can be elicited both independently and in a coordinated manner, by changing the stimulation intensity and stimulation location. H-reflex activity was also observed, which demonstrated the potential of recruiting motor units in a physiological order. Our approach could be further developed into a rehabilitative/assistive tool for individuals with impaired hand opening and/or wrist extension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1875-1882
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • General Neuroscience
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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