Effects of EMG processing on biomechanical models of muscle joint systems: sensitivity of trunk muscle moments, spinal forces, and stability

D. Staudenmann, J.R. Potvin, I. Kingma, D.F. Stegeman, J.H. van Dieen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Biomechanical models are in use to estimate parameters such as contact forces and stability at various joints. In one class of these models, surface electromyography (EMG) is used to address the problem of mechanical indeterminacy such that individual muscle activation patterns are accounted for. Unfortunately, because of the stochastical properties of EMG signals, EMG based estimates of muscle force suffer from substantial estimation errors. Recent studies have shown that improvements in muscle force estimation can be achieved through adequate EMG processing, specifically whitening and high-pass (HP) filtering of the signals. The aim of this paper is to determine the effect of such processing on outcomes of a biomechanical model of the lumbosacral joint and surrounding musculature. Goodness of fit of estimated muscle moments to net moments and also estimated joint stability significantly increased with increasing cut-off frequencies in HP filtering, whereas no effect on joint contact forces was found. Whitening resulted in moment estimations comparable to those obtained from optimal HP filtering with cut-off frequencies over 250 Hz. Moreover, compared to HP filtering, whitening led to a further increase in estimated joint-stability. Based on theoretical models and on our experimental results, we hypothesize that the processing leads to an increase in pick-up area. This then would explain the improvements from a better balance between deep and superficial motor unit contributions to the signal. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-909
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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