Local vibration inhibits H-reflex but does not compromise manual dexterity and does not increase tremor
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The present work aimed at investigating the effects of local vibration on upper limb postural and kinetic tremor, on manual dexterity and on spinal reflex excitability. Previous studies have demonstrated a decrease in spinal reflex excitability and in force fluctuations in the lower limb but an increase in force fluctuation in the upper limbs. As hand steadiness is of vital importance in many daily-based tasks, and local vibration may also be applied in movement disorders, we decided to further explore this phenomenon. Ten healthy volunteers (26 ± 3 years) were tested for H reflex, postural and kinetic tremor and manual dexterity through a Purdue test. EMG was recorded from flexor carpi radialis (FCR) and extensor digitorum communis (EDC). Measurements were repeated at baseline, after a control period during which no vibration was delivered and after vibration. Intervention consisted in holding for two minutes a vibrating handle (frequency 75 Hz, displacement ∼7 mm), control consisted in holding for two minutes the same handle powered off. Reflex excitability decreased after vibration whilst postural tremor and manual dexterity were not affected. Peak kinetic tremor frequency increased from baseline to control measurements (P = 0.002). Co-activation EDC/FCR increased from control to vibration (P = 0.021). These results show that two minutes local vibration lead to a decrease in spinal excitability, did not compromise manual dexterity and did not increase tremor; however, in contrast with expectations, tremor did not decrease. It is suggested that vibration activated several mechanisms with opposite effects, which resulted in a neutral outcome on postural and kinetic tremor.
Human Movement Science;
Budini F, Laudani L, Bernardini S, Macaluso A (2017) 'Local vibration inhibits H-reflex but does not compromise manual dexterity and does not increase tremor', Human Movement Science, 55 (Oct 17), pp.221-228
This article was published in Human Movement Science on 01 September 2017 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2017.08.018
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