Blood redistribution and circulatory responses to submaximal arm exercise in persons with spinal cord injury
Hopman MT, Monroe M, Dueck C, Phillips WT, Skinner JS.
Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education, Arizona State University, USA
The purpose of this study was to evaluate responses to submaximal arm exercise (20%, 40%, and 60% of peak power output) using four conditions to support the circulatory redistribution in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Five males with tetraplegia (TP) and four males with paraplegia (PR) exercised 1) sitting, 2) supine, and 3) sitting with the addition of a) an anti-gravity suit (anti-G), b) elastic stockings and abdominal binder, and c) functional electrical stimulation of the leg muscles. Compared to sitting, the following significant changes were observed: in the supine position, heart rate (HR) decreased (PR: 104 vs 118 b/min, TP: 76 vs 92 b/min) and stroke volume (SV) increased (PR: 132 vs 116 ml, TP: 96 vs 83 ml). The anti-G suit induced a decrease in heart rate (PR: 104 vs 118 b/min, TP: 87 vs 92 b/min) and a decrease in oxygen uptake (VO2) in PR. Stockings only affected TP, i.e. a decrease in heart rate with 5 b/min and an increase in stroke volume with 13 ml/beat. Functional electrical stimulation produced an increase in VO2 (PR: 1.00 vs 0.95 l/min, TP: 0.68 vs 0.53 l/min) and a rise in stroke volume in TP. Results indicate that the methods employed to support the circulatory redistribution have different working mechanisms and, in addition, that the effects are different for TP and PR probably because of differences in active muscle mass, sympathetic impairment and blood pressure values.
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