About this item:

79 Views | 24 Downloads

Author Notes:

Edelle C. Field-Fote, Email: edelle.field-fote@shepherd.org; Tel.: +1-404-603-4274

Conceptualization, E.S., K.C. and E.C.F.-F.; methodology, E.S., K.C. and E.C.F.-F.; formal analysis, E.S.; writing—original draft preparation, E.S., K.C. and E.C.F.-F.; funding acquisition, E.C.F.-F. All authors reviewed the manuscript and contributed to the editing. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

The authors thank research participants who volunteered their time to participate in this study. We also thank Temple Moore, OTR/L, Elizabeth Sasso-Lance, PT, DPT, and Rachel Beltzer for their recruitment efforts along with Nicholas Evans, MHS, CEP, and Adam Holzwarth, PT, DPT for their assistance with conducting interventions.

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.


Research Funding:

This research was funded by NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) R01 HD079009-02 (E.C.F.-F.).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Medicine, General & Internal
  • General & Internal Medicine
  • antispasmodic
  • electrical stimulation
  • neuromodulation
  • paraplegia
  • pendulum test
  • tetraplegia

Efficacy of Transcutaneous Spinal Stimulation versus Whole Body Vibration for Spasticity Reduction in Persons with Spinal Cord Injury


Journal Title:



Volume 10, Number 15


Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Transcutaneous spinal stimulation (TSS) and whole-body vibration (WBV) each have a robust ability to activate spinal afferents. Both forms of stimulation have been shown to influence spasticity in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI), and may be viable non-pharmacological approaches to spasticity management. In thirty-two individuals with motor-incomplete SCI, we used a randomized crossover design to compare single-session effects of TSS versus WBV on quadriceps spasticity, as measured by the pendulum test. TSS (50 Hz, 400 µs, 15 min) was delivered in supine through a cathode placed over the thoracic spine (T11-T12) and an anode over the abdomen. WBV (50 Hz; eight 45-s bouts) was delivered with the participants standing on a vibration platform. Pendulum test first swing excursion (FSE) was measured at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 15 and 45 min post-intervention. In the whole-group analysis, there were no between-or within-group differences of TSS and WBV in the change from baseline FSE to any post-intervention timepoints. Significant correlations between baseline FSE and change in FSE were associated with TSS at all timepoints. In the subgroup analysis, participants with more pronounced spasticity showed significant decreases in spasticity immediately post-TSS and 45 min post-TSS. TSS and WBV are feasible physical therapeutic interventions for the reduction of spasticity, with persistent effects.

Copyright information:

© 2021 by the authors.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/rdf).
Export to EndNote