Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 May;91(5):697-702.
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation training: a safe and effective treatment for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy patients.
Colson SS, Benchortane M, Tanant V, Faghan JP, Fournier-Mehouas M, Benaïm C, Desnuelle C, Sacconi S.
University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Laboratory of Human Motricity, Education, and Health, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Nice Cedex, France.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) strength training in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) patients.
DESIGN: Uncontrolled before-after trial.
SETTING: Neuromuscular disease center in a university hospital and a private-practice physical therapy office.
PARTICIPANTS: FSHD patients (N=9; 3 women, 6 men; age 55.2+/-10.4y) clinically characterized by shoulder girdle and quadriceps femoris muscle weakness.
INTERVENTIONS: Patients underwent 5 months of strength training with NMES bilaterally applied to the deltoideus, trapezius transversalis, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis muscles for five 20-minute sessions per week.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity; scores for pain and fatigue on visual analog scales (VAS), manual muscle testing (MMT), maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), 6-minute walking tests (6MWT), and self-reported changes in daily living activities.
RESULTS: NMES strength training was well tolerated (CK activity and pain and fatigue scores on VAS were not modified). Most of the muscle functions (shoulder flexion and extension and knee extension) assessed by MMT were significantly increased. MVIC of shoulder flexion and abduction and the 6MWT distance were also improved.
CONCLUSIONS: In FSHD, NMES strength training appears to be safe with positive effects on muscle function, strength, and capacity for daily activities.