We investigated the influence of the imagined muscle contraction strengths on spinal motor neuron excitability in healthy volunteers. F‐wave was used for assessing spinal motor excitability. The F‐waves during motor imagery (MI) under 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100% maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) were compared. Furthermore, we investigated changes of the F‐waves during motor imagery for 5 min. Motor imagery under 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100% maximal voluntary contractions can increase spinal motor neuron excitability. However, the imagined muscle contraction strengths were not involved in changes of spinal motor neuron excitability. Additionally, spinal motor neuron excitability after 5 min from onset of motor imagery returned to the rest level. Thus, in clinical use of motor imagery, slightly imagined muscle contraction strength is enough for facilitating spinal motor neuron excitability. Also, duration of motor imagery needs to be considered.
Part of the book: Neurological Physical Therapy
To evaluate the excitability of the spinal motor neural function, F wave in evoked electromyogram is often used. As the dominant nerve to the muscle was electrically stimulated, retrograde action potentials are transmitted from the stimulation point to the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord. Action potentials that are regenerated in the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord are transmitted to the muscle in an anterograde manner, which are recorded at the muscle. From this route, because F wave can be measured from the whole body nerve, it has been used in various situations. Usually, it is characteristic that the waveform of F wave appears in variety. In other words, the same waveform does not appear in healthy people. However, the same waveform may appear when a certain disease occurs. It has been reported that the same waveform called “repeater F” appears in patients with neurological diseases. However, techniques and experience are required to analyze the waveform, and it is not widely used in clinical practice. This article will explain the F waves in terms of neurophysiology and investigate whether the averaging method can be applied to F-wave waveform analysis.
Part of the book: Somatosensory and Motor Research