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Background: The main limitation of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is the muscle fatigue. According to previous studies, stimulation frequency has the greatest influence on rate of muscle fatigue. However, most of studies have been focused on high stimulation frequency but less than 100 Hz. We proposed that using a very high frequency may produce asynchronous motor unit recruitment and similar or less muscle fatigue.
Objectives: To examine the effects of very high (150 and 200 Hz) and low (50 Hz) stimulation frequencies on the declining stimulated muscle force.
Methods: Nine healthy participants underwent a fatigue test using 3 stimulation frequencies (50, 150, and 200 Hz) combined with wide pulse duration (0.9 ms) for 15 minutes fatigue test. Muscle fatigue was assessed using the normalized force values at the end of each stimulation frequency protocol.
Results: No difference in muscle fatigue was found when compared between very high frequency (150-200 Hz) and low frequency (50 Hz) combined with wide pulse duration conditions during a 15-minute fatigue test.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that both very high and low frequencies combined with wide pulse duration showed no differences in muscle fatigue. Further studies with a larger sample size are needed for confirmation.
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