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J Biomech. 2008;41(2):333-9. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Evaluation of the EMG-force relationship of trunk muscles during whole body tilt.

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Clinic for Trauma-, Hand- and Reconstructive Surgery, Division for Motor Research, Pathophysiology and Biomechanics, University Hospital, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany.


The study was aimed at the identification of the electromyography (EMG)-force relationship of five different trunk muscles. EMG-force relationships differ depending on changes in firing rate and the concurrent recruitment of motor units, which are linear and S-shaped, respectively. Trunk muscles are viewed as belonging to either the local or global muscle systems. Based on such assumptions, it would be expected that these functionally assigned muscles use different activation strategies. Thirty-one healthy volunteers (16 women, 15 men) were investigated. Forces on the trunk were applied with the use of a device that gradually tilts the body to horizontal position. Rotation capability enabled investigation of forward and backward as well as right and left sideward tilt directions. Surface EMG (SEMG) of five trunk muscles was taken. Root mean square (rms) values were computed and relative amplitudes, according to the measured maximum amplitudes, were calculated individually. Back muscles were characterized by a linear SEMG-force relationship during forward tilt. Abdominal muscles showed an S-shaped polynomial SEMG-force relationship for backward tilt direction. Sideward tilt directions evoked lesser SEMG levels with polynomial curve characteristics for all investigated muscles. Therefore, the SEMG-force relationship possibly is also subject to force vector in relation to fiber direction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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