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Effects of modified electrical stimulation-inducedleg cycle ergometer training for individuals with spinal cord injury

Thomas W. J. Janssen, PhD; D. Drew Pringle, EdD

Figure1. Subject on modified electrical stimulation-induced leg cycle ergometer system, showing load resistance controller, shank stimulation, and 10-channel current control system.

Electrical stimulation-induced leg cycling can be beneficial for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), but progression of exercise performance often stalls on the standard cycle ergometer. We evaluated whether exercise performance could be improved by modifying the ergometer through application of more electrical current and activation of the shank muscles. After a 6-week training period on the modified system, we saw marked improvements in cycling exercise performance, cardiorespiratory responses, and muscle strength in 12 men with SCI, even in those subjects whose performance had plateaued during training on the standard system. Hence, outcomes after cycling in people with SCI may be improved with this technique.

Volume 45 Number 6, 2008
Pages 819  — 830

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