Completed Research Studies

3. Title: Effects of Two Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Cycling Paradigms

Purpose: The overall purpose of this study is to compare the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular effects of a 6 month program of cycling with functional electrical stimulation (FES) using a low cadence and high resistance to the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular effects of cycling with functional electrical stimulation (FES) using a high cadence, low resistance program for people with spinal cord injury

Principal Investigator: Therese Johnston, PT, Ph.D., MDA
Co-Investigator(s): Ralph J. Marino, MD; Mary Schmidt-Read, DPT; Richard Lauer, Ph.D.; Christopher Modlesky, Ph.D.

Background: People with SCI are at risk for many secondary complications such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Cycling with FES is a way to improve musculoskeletal and the cardiovascular health of individuals with SCI. Studies have examined the effects of a more traditional high cadence (50 rpm), low resistance FES cycling program have reported significant increases in voluntary and stimulated isometric strength, muscle endurance, and muscle cross sectional area. Positive effects have also been reported for areal bone mineral density (aBMD) at the hip and the knee. However gains have been small and normal aBMD has not been attained, except in one case report. It has been suggested that loads of 1 to 1.5 times body weight are necessary to achieve substantial improvements in aBMD and that FES cycling as typically performed is not able to generate this load. There are no reported effects of a low cadence, high resistance cycling intervention. However, one report indicated that individuals with SCI cycling at lower cadences fatigue less quickly and thus may be able to cycle against higher loads. While this program may be more beneficial for building muscle and bone, a low cadence, high resistance cycling intervention has not been studied. Therefore, the objective of this study is to compare the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular effects of a 6 month functional electrical stimulation cycling (FES) program using a low cadence and a high resistance to the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular effects of cycling with FES using a high cadence and a low resistance program for people with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Study Dates: September 1, 2010 - August 31, 2012

Status: Study Completed

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