EMG Analysis of Trunk Muscle Recruitment Patterns of Anticipatory Postural Adjustments during Unilateral Arm Flexion in Chronic Neck Pain Patients

F Ghaffarinejad, A Kordi Yoosefinejad, S pirouzi, A R Shakibafar, Z Bagheri, M Ghofrani-Jahromi


Introduction: EMG recruitment pattern of trunk muscles can change to compensate pain. One of these pattern alterations occurs in anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) or feedforward activity of trunk muscles prior to arm movements. No study has determined the EMG pattern alterations of trunk muscle recruitments during the arm movement in patients with chronic neck pain (CNP). This study was examined the effect of CNP on EMG activities of trunk muscles for APAs during rapid arm flexion.

 Material and Methods: Sixteen patients with CNP for at least 3 months and sixteen healthy individuals matched in gender, age and weight were selected in this semi-experimental study. Surface EMG was utilized to evaluate 8 trunk muscles bilaterally and right anterior fibers of deltoid muscle during a unilateral rapid arm flexion. Anticipatory muscle activity was calculated by EMG onset latency of the trunk muscle from 100 ms before deltoid activity to 100 ms after it. Also, the values of root mean square (RMS) in 4 epochs around the onset of deltoid EMG were measured and compared. A two-tailed t-test and repeated-measure ANOVA were used for statistical analyses.

Results: The onset latency of muscles in left and right side, except left erector spine muscle, in patients showed a significantly higher delay compared to healthy controls (P<0.05). The analysis of RMS in the 4 epochs revealed that in the control group, the values of RMS for rectus abdominus and erector spine in both sides, left external oblique and left transverse abdominus/internal oblique increased significantly during Epochs 3 and 4 , but in CNP subjects, the RMS of these muscles did not change significantly in 4 epochs.

Conclusion: The patients with CNP had alterations in their recruitment patterns of particular trunk muscles in response to arm movement.Therefore, these patients have impaired motor control of trunk muscles during internal perturbation. These results indicated that not only the alterations in recruitment of trunk muscles occur, but also the intensity of their contractions decreases. In conclusion, CNP may alter in order to control the reactive forces resulting from limb movement. 


EMG Recruitment Pattern, Chronic Neck Pain, Anticipatory Postural Adjustment, Trunk Muscles

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.31661/jbpe.v0i0.877

eISSN: 2251-7200        JBPE NLM ID: 101589641

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