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Spectral analysis of electromyogram in lumbar muscles: fatigue induced endurance contraction.

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Department of Human Health Sciences, School of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Saitama, Japan.


In the last few years, epidemiological studies have shown correlations between the low endurance capacity of the erector spinae muscle and low back pain (LBP). In this study, the function of the erector spinae muscle and localized muscle fatigue in LBP were investigated in both LBP patients and control subjects without LBP, using surface multi-channel electromyograms (EMG). Four positions (L1, L2, L4, L5) were chosen as representative locations for the different functions of the erector spinae muscle. Median frequency (fm) parameters of an EMG power density spectrum were monitored to quantify localized muscle fatigue. This research indicated a statistically significant difference (P < 0.05) in fm parameters between the LBP patients and the control subjects. The integrated electromyogram (iEMG) signals of LBP patients were considerably higher than for the control subjects during endurance isometric contraction. Our research suggested that human fatiguing erector spinae muscle, in submaximal voluntary contractions tests, induced a different firing order of motor unit spikes between two groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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