Date of Degree

6-2014

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

D.P.T.

Program

Physical Therapy

Advisor(s)

Tom Holland

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy

Keywords

Tibialis anterior, electrical stimulation, muscle activation, motor point

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if placement of electrodes at various distances along the Tibialis Anterior muscle belly had a significant effect on the intensity of stimulation needed to evoke a contraction using neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Twenty subjects between the ages of 21-65 in good health and presented with no precautions to NMES were recruited from the CUNY Hunter College physical therapy department. Two reference lines were drawn on subjects’ legs, one outlining the tibial crest (L1), and another from the most lateral portion of the tibial plateau to the center of the lateral malleolus (L2). A large dispersive pad was placed on the back of their thigh, and a weak motor intensity of electrical current was applied with a stimulating electrode throughout the TA. The area in which a minimal visible muscular contraction (MVC) was obtained with the lowest current amplitude was identified as the motor point. The L2 marking was measured and the stimulating electrode was used to find a MVC at 15%, 30%, 45% and 60% of that line. These points were used to compare the intensity change as the points moved away from the motor point. Simple linear regression was used to analyze the data obtained. Results indicated no statistically significant difference in electro stimulation intensity at various measured lengths of the tibia, indicating that identification of a TA motor point may not be necessary to evoke a contraction of the TA with electro stimulation in a clinical setting. Simply placing the electrodes on the muscle belly is sufficient.

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