Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 12, pp 3409–3417 | Cite as

Effects of repetitive passive movement on ankle joint on spinal reciprocal inhibition

  • Ryo HirabayashiEmail author
  • Mutsuaki Edama
  • Sho Kojima
  • Shota Miyaguchi
  • Hideaki Onishi
Research Article


Repetitive passive movement (RPM) activates afferent Ia fibers. The input of afferent Ia fibers from antagonist muscle may modulate the extent of spinal reciprocal inhibition (RI). However, effects of RPM on RI remain unknown. We aimed to clarify these effects in 20 healthy adults. Four RPM tasks (40°/s, 80°/s, 120°/s, and 160°/s), with the range of ankle joint movement set to 40°, ranging from 10° in dorsiflexion to 30° in plantar flexion, were performed for 10 min. For measuring RI, a deep peroneal nerve as a conditioning stimulus, tibial nerve as a test stimulus, and three condition–test stimulus intervals (CTIs; single, 2 ms, and 20 ms) were used. The stimulation frequency was 0.3 Hz for 36 times (3 stimulation conditions × 12 sets). RI was measured before, immediately after, and 5, 10, 15, and 20 min (Pre, Post 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively) after the task. The extent of reciprocal Ia inhibition (CTI 2 ms) significantly increased in Post 5 and 10 at RPM speed of ≥ 120°/s. The extent of D1 inhibition (CTI 20 ms) significantly increased in Post 5 and 10 at RPM speed of ≥ 80°/s, and continued to increase until Post 15 at RPM speed of 160°/s. The extent of RI was the highest at RPM speed of 160°/s for both Ia and D1. Therefore, high RPM may increase the extent of reciprocal Ia inhibition and D1 inhibition, suggesting that rapid movements affect RI by increasing the firing frequency from the muscle spindle to afferent Ia fibers.


H-reflex M wave Electromyograph Joint movement Electrical stimulation 



The authors would like to thank Enago ( for the English language review.

Author contributions

Study conception and design: RH, ME, and HO; experiments: RH; data interpretation: RH, SM, SK, and HO; statistical analysis: RH, SK, and HO; writing and revising the manuscript: HO, ME, SK, and RH.


This study was funded by a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (18K17769) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). This study was also supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Research A (R01B32) from the Niigata University of Health and Welfare, 2018.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (include name of committee + reference number) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Consent for publication

The subject signed consent for the use and publication of data obtained in experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Human Movement and Medical SciencesNiigata University of Health and WelfareNiigataJapan

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