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EMG Introduction Small electrical currents are generated by muscle fibres prior to the production of muscle force.

These currents are generated by the exchange of ions across muscle fibre membranes, a part of the signaling process for the muscle fibres to contract. The signal called the electromyogram (EMG) can be measured by applying conductive elements or electrodes to the skin surface, or invasively within the muscle. Surface EMG is the more common method of measurement,

Recording the EMG of the quadriceps femoris during normal walking. Measurement of surface EMG is dependent on a number of factors and the amplitude of the surface EMG signal (sEMG) varies from the uV to the low mV range . The amplitude and time and frequency domain properties of the sEMG signal are dependent on factors such as the timing and intensity of muscle contraction,the distance of the electrode from the active muscle area , the properties of the overlying tissue (e.g. thickness of overlying skin and adipose tissue), the electrode and amplifier properties, and the quality of contact between the electrode and the skin

The differential .Typical benefits of EMG • EMG allows to directly “look” into the muscle • It allows measurement of muscular performance • Helps in decision making both before/after surgery • Documents treatment and training regimes • Helps patients to “find” and train their muscles • Allows analysis to improve sports activities • Detects muscle response in ergonomic studies The “raw” EMG signal An unfiltered (exception: amplifier bandpass) and unprocessed signal detecting the superposed MUAPs is called a raw EMG Signal Raw sEMG can range between +/. biceps br.5000 microvolts (athletes!) and typically the frequency contents ranges between 6 and 500 Hz.Amplifiers EMG-amplifiers act as differential amplifiers and their main quality item is the ability to reject or eliminate artifacts. EMG . showing most frequency power between ~ 20 and 150 Hz The raw EMG recording of 3 contractions bursts of the M.

Deeper. 10 and SENIAM).amplification detects the potential differences between the electrodes and cancels external interferences out A/D Resolution Before a signal can be displayed and analyzed in the computer. their main limitation is that only surface muscles can be detected.g. it has to be converted from an analog voltage to a digital signal (A/D conversion).5 Volts).invasive character in most cases surface electrodes are used in kinesiological studies. 4. +/. Besides the benefit of easy handling. smaller or overlaid muscles need a fine wire application to be safely or selectively detected. A 12 bit A/D board can separate the voltage range of the input signal into 4095 intervals Electrode Selection Due to their non. The resolution of A/D measurement boards have to properly convert the expected amplitude range (e. The muscle maps show a selection of muscles that typically have been investigated in kinesiological studies. . The two yellow dots of the surface muscles indicate the orientation of the electrode pair in ratio to the muscle fiber direction (proposals compiled from 1. For deeper muscles (covered by surface muscles or bones) fine-wire or needle electrodes are inevitable Most of the important limb and trunk muscles can be measured by surface .

Anatomical positions of selected electrode sites –frontal view Relationship of EMG to physical parameters There is a direct relationship between EMG and many biomechanical variables. there is a positive relationship between the increase of tension within the muscle and the . With respect to isometric contractions.

Because of this. one sees a decreased tension despite constant or even larger amplitude of the muscle activity. it is common to find that eccentric contractions produce less muscle activity than concentric contraction when working against equal force. As the muscle fatigues.amplitude of the EMG signal recorded. as there is questionable validity of the relationship of force to amplitude when many muscles are crossing the same joint. which can be seen by a decrease in the median frequency of the muscle signal. When looking at muscle activity. During any contraction there is a lag time as the EMG amplitude does not directly match the build-up of isometric tension. . there tends to be a relationship with EMG and velocity of the movement. There is a loss of the high-frequency component of the signal as it fatigues. during movement. Thus. it is difficult to reliably estimate the force production from the recorded EMG signal. or when muscles cross multiple joints. with regards to concentric and eccentric contractions.

You would not be able to raise the weight (concentric contraction) at the same speed you were able to lower it. but controlled manner. . For example: If a weight was very large and you lowered it to the ground in a fast. you handled a large weight at a high speed via eccentric contractions. but you were able to handle a larger amount of weight and the EMG activity of the muscles handling that weight would be smaller. The forces produced by the fibers are not necessarily any greater. while there is a positive relationship of strength production with eccentric contractions and the speed of movement. we have an inverse relationship for concentric contractions and positive relationship for eccentric contractions with respect to speed of movement. Thus.Processed EMG signal of the gastrocnemius for normal walking at low speed There is an inverse relationship of strength production with concentric contractions and the speed of movement. One can handle more of a load with eccentric contractions at higher speed.