Entrainment of Vastus Medialis Complex Activity Differs between Genders

Tenan, M. S., Hackney A, and Griffin L. Entrainment of Vastus Medialis Complex Activity Differs between Genders. Muscle and Nerve 53(4):633-40, 2016.


Introduction: That the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) is a functional unit of the vastus medialis (VM) is disputed. Delayed VMO activation predicts patellofemoral pain, which has higher rates in women.

Methods: Single MUs and surface electromyogram (EMG) were collected from the VMO and VM of 9 men and 9 women. Men were tested once; women were tested during 5 menstrual phases. Coherence was assessed for motor unit (MU) firings within and between the VM and VMO using multilevel logistic models to determine statistical significance.

Results: Compared with women, men have 741% (MU pairs) and 256% (MU-EMG pairs) greater odds of common drive (0–5 HZ) coherent oscillations. MU pairs from the VMO and the dual VM/VMO complex have 228% and 212% greater odds of coherent oscillations in the beta band (15–35 HZ) compared with VM pairs.

Conclusions: The VM and VMO are neurologically different muscles; control of the VM complex is sexually dimorphic.