Surface electromyographic recordings after passive and active motion along the posterior myofascial kinematic chain in healthy male subjects

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2014 Jul;18(3):452-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.12.007. Epub 2013 Dec 24.


Objective: To map the association of muscle activations along the superficial back line (SBL) using separate conditions of active range of motion with and without resistance and passive range of motion.

Method: Using surface electromyography, electrodes were placed at specific points along the SBL. Twenty healthy adult males (aged 25.35 ± 1.24 years and body mass index 23.78 ± 2.12) underwent five test conditions. Conditions 1-3 involved passive movement, active movement and active movement against maximum isometric resistance (IR) of the right gastrocnemius and conditions 4 and 5 involved neck extension without and with isometric resistance from prone position.

Results: Passive and active motion without resistance found no significant (p > 0.05) correlations at any electrodes. Maximum IR yielded significant (p < 0.05) correlations with medium to very strong correlations at almost all electrodes. Neck extension without and with resistance showed significant medium to very strong correlations though the posterior superior iliac spine and right hamstring, respectively.

Conclusion: Results demonstrated significant associations between the test condition muscle activations and muscle activations along the contiguous SBL. Thus, showing a need for a complete evaluation of the SBL in patients suffering from myofascial pain at all locations along it.

Keywords: EMG; Kinematic chains; Muscle recruitment; Myofascial continuity; Superficial back line; Surface EMG.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Neck Muscles / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Subcutaneous Tissue / physiology*
  • Superficial Back Muscles / physiology