Effects of Stimulation Pattern and Frequency on the Ability of the Human Quadriceps Femoris to Produce Repetitive Dynamic Contractions

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This study tested the ability of sixteen different electrical stimulation trains to produce repetitive lower leg movements through a fifty-degree target excursion. Five constant-frequency trains (CFTs), five variable-frequency trains (VFTs), five doublet frequency trains (DFTs) and a high-frequency (lOOHz) burst were tested. The results indicated that the DFT was the most successful train type, and that the high-frequency burst was the most successful train overall. The repetitive doublet activation offered by DFTs may have stimulated force augmentation mechanisms many times within a train, therefore improving performance in fatigued muscle. In addition, the success of the high-frequency burst may have been due to activation of the same mechanisms responsible for force augmentation as those triggered by doublets.