Author(s): RibotCiscar E, Roll JP, Gilhodes JC
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Abstract Applying mechanical vibration for short periods to a muscle tendon induces long-lasting involuntary contractions which develop soon after the vibration offset in the previously vibrated muscle. In the present study, the question was raised as to whether these post-vibratory motor responses are mediated by the activity of supraspinal neural population or whether they may involve in addition some peripheral facilitatory influences operating at the motoneuronal level. To investigate this question, we analysed the unitary activity of 48 motor units belonging to the wrist extensor radialis muscles of the human hand, after attempting to classify them as slow or fast, during both post-vibratory and voluntary contractions having almost the same amplitudes and time-courses. The motor units were found to be activated in much the same way with both types of contraction. Similarities were observed as regards: the nature of the motor units activated, the order of recruitment of the motor unit population, the motor units' force recruitment thresholds, the mean interspike interval and the standard deviation. These analogies suggest that post-vibratory contraction may mainly involve a supraspinal tonic drive, but the possibility that these involuntary contractions may have a spinal origin cannot be completely ruled out.
This article was published in Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief