Work Type




Faculty Advisor

Sara Shapiro PT, MPH




Purpose: Maintaining balance requires a complex integration of input from multiple sensory systems. Studies have shown positive effects of using transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to enhance somatosensory feedback and muscular strength associated with balance. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of electrical stimulation on independent standing balance during single leg stance (SLS) using either NMES with exercise, TENS with exercise, or exercise alone.

Subjects: Fourteen subjects were recruited through a convenience sample on the University of Puget Sound campus.

Methods: Randomized control trial. Subjects participated in this study five times per week for a total of six weeks. Participants were randomly assigned into each group: NMES with home exercise program (HEP),TENS with HEP and HEP-only. The experimental groups performed 60 minutes of electrical stimulation. All groups received the same HEP. SLS balance assessment was performed on each participant at one and six weeks.

Results: Change in SLS over time showed no significant difference (p=0.67; power=0.10). There was no significant difference between groups (p=0.96; power=0.05). There was a significant difference in SLS time between eyes open versus eyes closed (p

Conclusions: There was no significant difference in SLS time with the use of NMES, TENS or exercise alone.

Relevance: This study suggests that applying electrical stimulation with described protocols may not have an effect on independent static standing balance. Further research should be done that incorporates other protocols and parameters.


University of Puget Sound