Video game-based neuromuscular electrical stimulation system for calf muscle training: A case study

D. G. Sayenko, K. Masani, M. Milosevic, M. F. Robinson, A. H. Vette, K. M.V. McConville, M. R. Popovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A video game-based training system was designed to integrate neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and visual feedback as a means to improve strength and endurance of the lower leg muscles, and to increase the range of motion (ROM) of the ankle joints. The system allowed the participants to perform isotonic concentric and isometric contractions in both the plantarflexors and dorsiflexors using NMES. In the proposed system, the contractions were performed against exterior resistance, and the angle of the ankle joints was used as the control input to the video game. To test the practicality of the proposed system, an individual with chronic complete spinal cord injury (SCI) participated in the study. The system provided a progressive overload for the trained muscles, which is a prerequisite for successful muscle training. The participant indicated that he enjoyed the video game-based training and that he would like to continue the treatment. The results show that the training resulted in a significant improvement of the strength and endurance of the paralyzed lower leg muscles, and in an increased ROM of the ankle joints. Video game-based training programs might be effective in motivating participants to train more frequently and adhere to otherwise tedious training protocols. It is expected that such training will not only improve the properties of their muscles but also decrease the severity and frequency of secondary complications that result from SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Active gaming
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Muscle training
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Virtual rehabilitation
  • Visual feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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