Validity of Surface EMG Electrode Placement for Trunk Musculature
Rupal Mehta, Marco Cannella, David Ebaugh and Sheri Silfies
Surface Electromyography (sEMG) parameters suchas trunk muscle timing and amplitude arecommonly used to distinguish low back patientsfrom pain free controls, and as an objective markerof change in clinical status. However, to detectsmall changes in these trunk muscle performanceparameters, the variability in the sEMG signal mustbe low. This variability is introduced by a variety of factors (e.g., patient performance of the task,development of fatigue, the equipment, or theelectrode positioning). To standardize sEMGmeasurements, guidelines have been drawn up forthe positioning of sEMG electrodes for the trunk muscles. The purpose of this study is to evaluate thevalidity of standard sEMG electrode placement sitesfor trunk muscles.
Validity of sEMG electrode placement wasestablished by verifying placement using cadaverdissection and analysis of cross-correlation of sEMG signals across electrodes sites.
Cadaver Study: Eight cadavers were examined tovalidate the sEMG electrode placement on 7muscles bilaterally. The placement sites wereconsistent with those cited in the literature [1,2]:internal oblique/transverse abdominus (IO/TrA) – 2cm inferior-medial to anterior superior iliac spine(ASIS); external oblique (EO) -15 cm lateral toumbilicus; external oblique-2 (EO-2) - 5 cm supero-medial to EO placement; rectus abdominus (RA) -3cm lateral to umbilicus; superficial lumbarmultifidus (LM) - 2cm lateral to L5 spinousprocess; lumbar erector spinae (LES) -3cm lateral toL2 spinous process; and thoracic erector spinae(TES) -5cm lateral to T9 spinous process. Thesesites were marked on the cadavers and at each sitethe location of the underlying muscle was visuallyconfirmed (see Fig 1 & 2).
. Digital photograph of the dissectedextensor muscles with electrode placement andorientation of LM, LES & TES
Digital photograph of the dissectedabdominal wall with the electrode placement andorientation of RA, IO/TrA, EO & EO-2