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Limb compressive load does not inhibit post activation depression of soleus H-reflex in indiviudals with chronic spinal cord injury

Clinical Neurophysiology
DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2012.10.020
  • Compression
  • Homosynaptic Depression
  • Spinal Neural Modulation


Abstract Objective We investigated the effect of various doses of limb compressive load on soleus H-reflex amplitude and post activation depression in individuals with/without chronic SCI. We hypothesized that SCI reorganization changes the typical reflex response to an external load. Methods Ten healthy adults and 10 individuals with SCI received three doses of compressive load to the top of their knee (10%, 25%, and 50% of the body weight, BW). Soleus H-reflexes were measured before (baseline) and during the loading phase. Results With persistent background muscle activity across all testing sessions, segment compressive load significantly decreased post activation depression in the control group, but did not change the post activation ratio in the SCI group. Normalized H2 amplitude significantly increased according to load (50%>25%>10%) in the control group whereas was minimally modulated to load in those with SCI. Conclusions Segment compressive load inhibits post activation depression in humans without SCI, but minimally modulates the reflex circuitry in people with chronic SCI. These findings suggest that spinal cord reorganization mitigates the typical response to load in people with chronic SCI. Significance Early limb load training may impact the reorganization of the spinal cord in humans with acute SCI.

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