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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00930

Repetitive peripheral magnetic nerve stimulation (rPMS) as adjuvant therapy reduces skeletal muscle reflex activity

 Volker Zschorlich1, 2, 3*, Martin Hillebrecht4, Tammam Tanjour5,  Fengxue Qi5, 6,  Frank Behrendt7*,  Timo Kirschstein8 and  Rüdiger Köhling3, 8
  • 1Department of Movement Science, University of Rostock, Germany
  • 2University Medicine Rostock, Germany
  • 3Interdisziplinäre Fakultät der Universität Rostock, Germany
  • 4Department of Sport Science, University of Oldenburg, Germany
  • 5Department of Movement Science, University of Rostock, Germany
  • 6Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), Germany
  • 7Research Department, Reha Rheinfelden, Switzerland
  • 8Oscar Langendorf Institue of Physiology, University Hospital Rostock, Germany

Background: The reduction of muscle hypertonia and spasticity, as well as an increase in mobility, is an essential prerequisite for the amelioration of physiotherapeutical treatments. Repetitive peripheral magnetic nerve stimulation (rPMS) is a putative adjuvant therapy that improves the mobility of patients. Methods: Thirty-eight participants underwent either an rPMS treatment (N=19) with a 5 Hz stimulation protocol at the soleus muscle or with sham stimulation (N=19). The stimulation took place over 5 minutes. The study was conducted in a pre-test post-test design with matched groups. Results: The primary outcome was a significant reduction of the reflex activity of the soleus muscle, triggered by a computer-aided tendon-reflex impact. Outcome measures were taken at the baseline and after the following intervention. The pre-post differences of the tendon reflex response activity were -23.7% (P < 0.001) for the treatment group. No significant effects showed in the sham stimulation group. Conclusion: Low-frequency magnetic stimulation (5 Hz rPMS) exhibits a substantial reduction of the tendon reflex amplitude. The 5 Hz rPMS treatment seems to be an effective procedure to reduce muscular stiffness, increase mobility, and thus, makes the therapeutic effect of neuro-rehabilitation more effective. For this reason, the 5 Hz rPMS treatment might have the potential to be used as an adjuvant therapy in the rehabilitation of gait and posture control in patients suffering from limited mobility due to spasticity.

Keywords: Muscle Hypertonia, Cerebral Palsy, Reflex, Muscle stimulation, Muscle Spasticity, Pain

Received: 20 May 2019; Accepted: 09 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

Xiaogang Hu, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States

Reviewed by:

Cristiano De Marchis, Roma Tre University, Italy
Domenico A. Restivo, Ospedale Garibaldi, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Zschorlich, Hillebrecht, Tanjour, Qi, Behrendt, Kirschstein and Köhling. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Volker Zschorlich, Department of Movement Science, University of Rostock, Rostock,, Germany,
Dr. Frank Behrendt, Reha Rheinfelden, Research Department, Rheinfelden, 4310, Switzerland,