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. 2003 Oct;13(5):477-89.
doi: 10.1016/s1050-6411(03)00027-0.

The Validity and Reliability of Surface EMG to Assess the Neuromuscular Response of the Abdominal Muscles to Rapid Limb Movement

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The Validity and Reliability of Surface EMG to Assess the Neuromuscular Response of the Abdominal Muscles to Rapid Limb Movement

P Marshall et al. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. .

Abstract

The transversus abdominus muscle (TrA) has been demonstrated to be active prior to rapid movements of the upper and lower limbs. This activity is termed feed forward motivation. The lack of feed-forward activation for TrA has been demonstrated in subjects with low back pain. The measures used for investigation of TrA function have been fine-wire needle EMG. This limits the practical application of TrA study due to the cost and level of specialisation required for this technique. The objective of the current study was to investigate the validity and reliability of using a surface EMG site to replicate the findings for the feed-forward activation of TrA prior to rapid limb movement. A population of healthy, young males (n = 20) were studied and it was found that four of the subjects did not meet feed-forward criteria. These results were shown to be highly reliable after a 2-week period for the TrA/IO site only. The validity of the signal was further investigated using several functional tasks to specifically target muscles of the abdominal region. Using a cross-correlation analysis to evaluate crosstalk from adjacent muscles, it was concluded that the signal representing TrA/IO accurately demonstrates the functional activity of the muscle. This study has demonstrated a viable surface EMG method to evaluate the feed-forward activation of TrA/IO prior to rapid limb movement. This may lead to opportunities for the clinical application of this method. It was also a finding of this study that four asymptomatic subjects did not pre-activate, therefore providing a rationale for future prospective investigations on whether the lack of TrA/IO feed-forward activation is a cause or an effect of low back pain.

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