Send to

Choose Destination
Muscle Nerve. 2006 May;33(5):637-44.

Depression of involuntary activity in muscles paralyzed by spinal cord injury.

Author information

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami, 1095 NW 14th Terrace, R-48, Miami, Florida 33136, USA.


Involuntary muscle contractions are common after spinal cord injury (SCI). Increased sensitivity to Ia muscle afferent input may contribute to the development of these spasms. Since tendon vibration results in a period of postactivation depression of the Ia synapse, we sought to determine whether Achilles tendon vibration (80 HZ for 2 s) altered involuntary contractions evoked by superficial peroneal nerve (SPN) stimulation (5 pulses at 300 HZ) in paralyzed leg muscles of subjects with chronic (>1 year) SCI. Responses to SPN stimulation that were conditioned by vibration were reduced in 66% of trials (by 33+/-12% in tibialis anterior and 40+/-16% in soleus). These reductions in electromyographic activity are unlikely to be mediated by changes at the Ia synapse or motoneuron because vibration did not alter the magnitude of the soleus H reflex. The electromyographic reductions may involve long-lasting neuromodulatory effects on spinal inhibitory interneurons or synapses involved in the flexor reflex pathway. Vibration-evoked depression of electromyographic activity may be clinically useful in controlling involuntary muscle contractions after SCI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center