Neuromuscular electrical stimulation of the lower limbs in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2008 Mar-Apr;28(2):79-91. doi: 10.1097/01.HCR.0000314201.02053.a3.


Exercise training comprises a variety of modalities in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the last 10 years, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has attracted the interests of clinicians as a novel rehabilitative approach. Because of a limited impact on ventilatory requirements and dyspnea, NMES appears as a promising alternative to general physical reconditioning in patients with advanced COPD. In this review, the technical aspects of electrostimulation, its clinical benefits in COPD, and the potential mechanisms of action have been discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Physical Endurance
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life