Chronic effects of simultaneous electromyostimulation and vibration on leg blood flow in spinal cord injury

H. Menéndez, C. Ferrero, J. Martín-Hernández, A. Figueroa, P. J. Marín, A. J. Herrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Study design:Randomized two-group parallel.Objectives:The objective of this study was to analyze the adaptations on the popliteal artery (mean blood velocity (MBV), peak blood velocity (PBV), arterial resting diameter (RD) and blood flow (BF)) induced by 12 weeks of simultaneous application of whole-body vibration and electromyostimulation (WBV+ES) in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). Secondarily, the musculoskeletal effects of this therapy on the gastrocnemius muscle thickness (MT) and femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) were analyzed.Setting:Valladolid, Spain.Methods:Seventeen SCI patients (American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) A or B) were randomly assigned to the experimental group (EG=9) or the control group (CG=8). Each subject was assessed in four different occasions: at baseline, after 6 weeks (Post-6) and 12 weeks of the treatment (Post-12) and 8 weeks after the end of the treatment (Post-20). Subjects in the EG performed 30 10-min sessions of WBV+ES during 12 weeks.Results:In the EG, RD increased compared with the baseline value at Post-6 (9.5%, P<0.01), Post-12 (19.0%, P<0.001) and Post-20 (16.7%, P<0.001). Similarly, in the EG, BF increased compared with the baseline value and with CG only at Post-12 ((33.9%, P<0.01) and (72.5%, P<0.05), respectively). Similarly, WBV+ES increased the MT of the gastrocnemius. BMD of both hips remained invariable during the study. CG showed no change at any point.Conclusions:WBV+ES improved popliteal artery BF, RD and MT after 12 weeks in SCI patients. This increase in RD remained above baseline after 8 weeks. The combination of WBV and ES could be considered a promising alternative to reverse the musculoskeletal atrophy and improve peripheral vascular properties in SCI patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1175
Number of pages7
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


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