A new method for muscle fatigue assessment: Online model identification techniques



Introduction: The purpose of this study was to propose a method that allows extraction of the current muscle state under electrically induced fatigue. Methods: The triceps surae muscle of 5 subjects paralyzed by spinal cord injury was fatigued by intermittent electrical stimulation (5 × 5 trains at 30 Hz). Classical fatigue indices representing muscle contractile properties [peak twitch (Pt) and half-relaxation time (HRT)] were assessed before and after each 5-train series and were used to identify 2 relevant parameters (Fm, Ur) of a previously developed mathematical model using the Sigma-Point Kalman Filter. Results: Pt declined significantly during the protocol, whereas HRT remained unchanged. Identification of the model parameters with experimental data yielded a model-based fatigue assessment that gave a more stable evaluation of fatigue than classical parameters. Conclusions: This work reinforces clinical research by providing a tool that clinicians can use to monitor fatigue development during stimulation. Muscle Nerve 50: 556–563, 2014