Estimation of muscle forces about the wrist joint during isometric tasks using an EMG coefficient method

Thomas S. Buchanan*, Michael J. Moniz, Julius P.A. Dewald, W. Zev Rymer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


A technique for estimating isometric muscle forces based on EMGs and anatomical parameters is presented. In the present study, we record EMGs from five muscles acting at the wrist, during a series of isometric contractions in flexion, extension, ulnar deviation and radial deviation. The method then uses these EMG signals and the necessary anatomical data to estimate individual muscle forces. For one subject, complete anatomical parameters were estimated by MRI reconstruction of muscle moment arms and lines of muscle action. In all subjects, the errors associated with variability in the EMG signals were reduced through the use of signal processing techniques and intensive subject training. These EMG-based force estimates were then validated by evaluations at torque directions in which no mechanical redundancy existed. The stability of the solution space was examined using Monte Carlo simulations. The results of our study show that individual muscle forces at the wrist can be estimated with considerable accuracy, without assuming any control strategy (as is done with optimization theories). However, due to the limited mechanical redundancy of the wrist, it is uncertain whether the method can be used to estimate muscle forces in more highly redudant systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-560
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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