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Changes in the surface EMG signal and the biomechanics of motion during a repetitive lifting task

Bonato, Paolo and Boissy, Patrick and Della Croce, Ugo (2002) Changes in the surface EMG signal and the biomechanics of motion during a repetitive lifting task. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 10 (1), p. 38-47. eISSN 1558-0210. Article.

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DOI: 10.1109/TNSRE.2002.1021585


The analysis of surface electromyographic (EMG) data recorded from the muscles of the back during isometric constant-force contractions has been a useful tool for assessing muscle deficits in patients with lower back pain (LBP). Until recently, extending the technique to dynamic tasks, such as lifting, has not been possible due to the nonstationarity of the EMG signals. Recent developments in time-frequency analysis procedures to compute the instantaneous median frequency (IMDF) were utilized in this study to overcome these limitations. Healthy control subjects with no history of LBP ( = 9; mean age 26.3 6.7) were instrumented for acquisition of surface EMG data from six electrodes on the thoraco-lumbar region and whole-body kinematic data from a stereo-photogrammetric system. Data were recorded during a standardized repetitive lifting task (load= 15%body mass; 12 lifts/min; 5-min duration). The task resulted in significant decreases in IMDF for six of the nine subjects, with a symmetrical pattern of fatigue among contralateral muscles and greater decrements in the lower lumbar region. For those subjects with a significant decrease in IMDF, a lower limb and/or upper limb biomechanical adaptation to fatigue was observed during the task. Increases in the peak box acceleration were documented. In two subjects, the acceleration doubled its value from the beginning to the end of the exercise, which lead to a significant increase in the torque at L4/L5. This observation suggests an association between muscle fatigue at the lumbar region and the way the subject manipulates the box during the exercise. Fatigue-related biomechanical adaptations are discussed as a possible supplement to functional capacity assessments among patients with LBP.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:6952
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biomechanics, electromyography, fatigue, lifting, lower back pain, time-frequency
Subjects:Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione > ING-INF/06 Bioingegneria elettronica e informatica
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Scienze biomediche
Deposited On:12 Jan 2012 16:12

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