What is it about?

This study aimed to discover the best spots to place electrodes on the calf in order to get an effective and comfortable electrical stimulation. It is known that special locations exist on a muscle, which are much more effective for electrical stimulation. These are called "motor points". The study found that the location of motor points for electrical stimulation on the calf varies for each individual.

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Why is it important?

Electrical stimulation on the calf can help venous blood flow, especially in case prolonged sitting work or unwanted inactivity, to prevent development of blood clotting. However, applying electrical stimulation on the wrong points can be ineffective and painful. Thus, to get an effective and comfortable stimulation it is essential to apply electrodes on the correct spots.


In the 20th century inactive compression stockings were used for blood clot prevention. In the 21th century, hopefully, active calf compression using mobile electrical techniques will be used for blood clot prevention. This requires knowledge on where to place the electrodes. Moreover, today a manual search is done to find motor points, which in the near future should be replaced by an automatic search of motor points.

Professor Paul W Ackermann
Karolinska Institutet

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Motor point heatmap of the calf, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, March 2023, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1186/s12984-023-01152-5.
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