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Q J Exp Physiol. 1989 Nov;74(6):897-905.

Muscle tone around the human knee in paraplegia.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Edinburgh University.

Abstract

The thigh muscle tone of non-injured subjects and complete injury paraplegics has been investigated using torques, generated by a printed motor, to move the knee. The dynamic measure of resonant frequency (related to stiffness) together with a static measure of stiffness have shown the legs of non-injured subjects to respond non-linearly to decreasing torques. However, the complete paraplegics' legs did not respond non-linearly but showed constant resonant frequency and stiffness over the range of torques. Peak velocity at resonance (inversely related to damping) gradually increased with increasing torques in both groups. In addition, at a chosen baseline torque of 0.7 N m, resonant frequency and muscle stiffness were significantly lower and peak velocity significantly higher in the paraplegics compared to the non-injured subjects. Contrary to expectations the thigh muscles in established, complete paraplegia showed a lack of tonic EMG activity. In addition, whilst phasic stretch responses were occasionally seen there was no tonic activity in relation to continued stretch. Since muscles atrophy after paralysis, the smaller muscle bulk may contribute to the lower muscle tone.

PMID:
2594940
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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