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1.  Alteration of Muscle Function After Electrical Stimulation Bout of Knee Extensors and Flexors 
The purpose was to study the effects on muscle function of an electrical stimulation bout applied unilaterally on thigh muscles in healthy male volunteers. One group (ES group, n = 10) received consecutively 100 isometric contractions of quadriceps and 100 isometric contractions of hamstrings (on-off ratio 6-6 s) induced by neuromuscular electrical stimulations (NMES). Changes in muscle torque, muscle soreness (0-10 VAS), muscle stiffness and serum creatine kinase (CK) activity were assessed before the NMES exercise (pre-ex) as well as 24h (d+1), 48h (d+2) and 120h (d+5) after the bout. A second group (control group, n = 10) were submitted to the same test battery than the ES group and with the same time-frame. The between-group comparison indicated a significant increase in VAS scores and in serum levels of CK only in the ES group. In the ES group, changes were more pronounced in hamstrings than in quadriceps and peaked at d+2 (quadriceps VAS scores = 2.20 ± 1.55 a.u. (0 at pre-ex); hamstrings VAS scores = 3.15 ± 2.14 a.u. (0 at pre-ex); hip flexion angle = 62 ± 5° (75 ± 6° at pre-ex); CK activity = 3021 ± 2693 IU·l-1 (136 ± 50 IU·l-1 at pre-ex)). The results of the present study suggested the occurrence of muscle damage that could have been induced by the peculiar muscle recruitment in NMES and the resulting overrated mechanical stress. The sensitivity to the damaging effects of NMES appeared higher in the hamstrings than in quadriceps muscles.
Key points
A stimulation bout of quadriceps and hamstrings that reflects usual application of NMES, increases indirect markers of muscle damage (muscle soreness, muscle weakness and stiffness and serum CK activity).
The occurrence of muscle damage could have been induced by the peculiar muscle recruitment in NMES and the resulting overrated mechanical stress.
The sensitivity to the damaging effects of NMES appears higher in the hamstrings than in quadriceps muscles.
PMCID: PMC3763303  PMID: 24150067
Electrical stimulation; DOMS; muscle contraction; muscle damage
2.  Translation validation of a new back pain screening questionnaire (the STarT Back Screening Tool) in French 
Archives of Public Health  2012;70(1):12.
Background
Low back pain (LBP) is a major public health problem and the identification of individuals at risk of persistent LBP poses substantial challenges to clinical management. The STarT Back questionnaire is a validated nine-item patient self-report questionnaire that classifies patients with LBP at low, medium or high-risk of poor prognosis for persistent non-specific LBP. The objective of this study was to translate and cross-culturally adapt the English version of the STarT Back questionnaire into French.
Methods
The translation was performed using best practice translation guidelines. The following phases were performed: contact with the STarT Back questionnaire developers, initial translations (English into French), synthesis, back translations, expert committee review, test of the pre-final version on 44 individuals with LBP, final version.
Results
The linguistic translation required minor semantic alterations. The participants interviewed indicated that all items of the questionnaire were globally clear and comprehensible. However, 6 subjects (14%) wondered if two questions were related to back pain or general health. After discussion within the expert committee and with the developer of the STarT Back tool, it was decided to modify the questionnaire and to add a reference to back pain in these two questions.
Conclusions
The French version of the STarT Back questionnaire has been shown to be comprehensible and adapted to the French speaking general population. Investigations are now required to test the psychometric properties (reliability, internal and external validity, responsiveness) of this translated version of the questionnaire.
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-70-12
PMCID: PMC3436683  PMID: 22958224
Low back pain; Questionnaire; Translation
3.  Comparison of Active and Electrostimulated Recovery Strategies After Fatiguing Exercise 
The purpose of this study was to compare an electrostimulated to an active recovery strategy after a submaximal isometric fatiguing exercise. Nineteen healthy men completed three sessions (separated by at least 4 weeks) which included a knee extensors provocation exercise consisting of 3 sets of 25 isometric contractions. Contraction intensity level was fixed respectively at 60%, 55% and 50% of previously determined maximal voluntary contraction for the first, second and third sets. This provocation exercise was followed by either an active (AR) recovery (25 min pedaling on a cycle ergometer), an electrostimulated (ESR) recovery (25-min continuous and non-tetanic (5 Hz) stimulation of the quadriceps) or a strictly passive recovery (PR). Peak torques of knee extensors and subjective perception of muscle pain (VAS, 0-10) were evaluated before (pre-ex), immediately after the provocation exercise (post-ex), after the recovery period (post-rec), as well as 75 minutes (1h15) and one day (24h) after the exercise bout. Time course of peak torque was similar among the different recovery modes: ~ 75% of initial values at post-ex, ~ 90% at post-rec and at 1h15. At 24h, peak torque reached a level close to baseline values (PR: 99.1 ± 10.7%, AR: 105.3 ± 12.2%, ESR: 104.4 ± 10.5%). VAS muscle pain scores decreased rapidly between post-ex and post-rec (p < 0.001); there were no significant differences between the three recovery modes (p = 0.64). In conclusion, following a submaximal isometric knee extension exercise, neither electrostimulated nor active recovery strategies significantly improved the time course of muscle function recovery.
Key pointsThree sets of submaximal isometric contractions at 60%, 55% and 50% of MVC induced an early fatigue without DOMS but did not lead to exhaustion.In comparison with passive recovery, active and electrostimulated recovery did not lead to significantly higher MVC torques 24h after the exercise bout.No significant differences were demonstrated between the effects of passive, active and electrostimulated recoveries on muscle pain after repeated submaximal isometric contractions.
PMCID: PMC3761726  PMID: 24149681
Electrical stimulation; muscle recovery; isometric contraction; muscle fatigue

Results 1-3 (3)