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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2010 Aug;20(4):648-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2010.02.001. Epub 2010 Mar 12.

Effects of repeated Achilles tendon vibration on triceps surae force production.

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Laboratoire APS et Conduites Motrices, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France.


Many studies reported benefits of whole-body vibration (WBV) on muscle force production. Therefore, WBV may be an important technique for muscle re-education. However vibrating platforms are heavy tools that cannot be easily used by all patients. Thus, we propose to apply vibrations directly to the Achilles tendon at rest with a portable vibrator. We investigated whether 14 days of such a vibration program would enhance triceps surae force production in healthy subjects. If successful, such a protocol could be utilized to prevent deleterious effects of hypo-activity. Twenty-nine healthy students participated in this study. The electrical evoked twitch and maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) in plantar-flexion, and electromyograms (EMG) were quantified before and at the end of the program. The vibration program consisted of 14 days of daily vibration applied at rest (duration: 1 h; frequency: 50 Hz). After the program, there was an increase in MVC associated with greater EMG of the TS. No sign of hypertrophy were found on the twitch parameters and the EMG-torque relationships. Repeated vibrations of the Achilles tendon lead to an increase in plantar-flexor activation and thus to greater force developed in voluntary conditions whilst the contractile properties assessed by the twitch are not modified. This program could be beneficial to persons with hypo-activity who are not candidates for WBV.

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