Introduction: Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has been shown to be an effective treatment for muscular dysfunction. Yet, a fundamental barrier to NMES treatments is the rapid onset of muscle fatigue. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of feedback-based frequency modulation on the closed-loop performance of the quadriceps during repeated dynamic contractions.
Methods: In the first experiment, subjects completed four different frequency modulation NMES protocols utilizing the same amplitude modulation control to compare the successful run times (SRTs). A second experiment was performed to determine the change in muscle response to high- and low-frequency stimulation.
Results: Compared with constant-frequency stimulation, results indicate that using an error-driven strategy to vary the stimulation frequency during amplitude modulation increases the number of successful contractions during non-isometric conditions.
Conclusion: Simultaneous frequency and amplitude modulation increases the SRT during closed-loop NMES control.
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