Methods and protocols for incremental exercise testing in tetraplegia, using arm-cranking exercise assisted by functional electrical stimulation

Sylvie Coupaud, henrik gollee, Kenneth Hunt, Matthew Fraser, David Allan, Alan McLean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to tetraplegia, with paralysis and loss of sensation in the upper and lower limbs. The associated sedentary lifestyle results in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. To address this, we require the design of exercise modalities aimed specifically at tetraplegia and methods to assess their efficacy.

This paper describes methods for arm-crank ergometry (ACE) assisted by Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) applied to the biceps and triceps. The instrumented ergometer enables work-rate control during exercise, implemented here for incremental exercise testing during FES-ACE. Detailed protocols for the tests are given.

Experimental data collected during exercise tests with tetraplegic volunteers are provided to illustrate the feasibility of the proposed approach to testing and data analysis. Incremental tests enabled calculation of peak power output and peak oxygen uptake.

We propose that the high-precision exercise testing protocols described here are appropriate to assess the efficacy of the novel exercise modality, FES-ACE, in tetraplegia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-78
Number of pages12
JournalBiomedical Signal Processing and Control
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • spinal cord injury
  • tetraplegia
  • functional electrical stimulation
  • exercise test
  • muscle strength
  • cardiopulmonary fitness
  • Tetraplegia
  • exercise testing
  • rehabilitation

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