CONTEXT The influence of methodological parameters on the measurement of muscle contractile properties using Tensiomyography (TMG) has not been published. OBJECTIVE To investigate the; (1) reliability of stimulus amplitude needed to elicit maximum muscle displacement (Dm), (2) effect of changing inter-stimulus interval on Dm (using a fixed stimulus amplitude) and contraction time (Tc), (3) the effect of changing inter-electrode distance on Dm and Tc. DESIGN Within subject, repeated measures. PARTICIPANTS 10 participants for each objective. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Dm and Tc of the rectus femoris, measured using TMG. RESULTS The coefficient of variance (CV) and the intra-class correlation (ICC) of stimulus amplitude needed to elicit maximum Dm was 5.7% and 0.92 respectively. Dm was higher when using an inter-electrode distance of 7cm compared to 5cm [P = 0.03] and when using an inter-stimulus interval of 10s compared to 30s [P = 0.017]. Further analysis of inter-stimulus interval data, found that during 10 repeated stimuli Tc became faster after the 5th measure when compared to the second measure [P<0.05]. The 30s inter-stimulus interval produced the most stable Tc over 10 measures compared to 10s and 5s respectively. CONCLUSION Our data suggest that the stimulus amplitude producing maximum Dm of the rectus femoris is reliable. Inter-electrode distance and inter-stimulus interval can significantly influence Dm and/ or Tc. Our results support the use of a 30s inter-stimulus interval over 10s or 5s. Future studies should determine the influence of methodological parameters on muscle contractile properties in a range of muscles.
Wilson, H. V., Johnson, M. I., & Francis, P. (2018). Repeated stimulation, inter-stimulus interval and inter-electrode distance alters muscle contractile properties as measured by Tensiomyography. PLoS ONE, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191965