Increase in Muscle Activation during Physiotherapy with Electromyography Biofeedback for Patients with Acute Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries

Guijin Li, Caitlin Doman, Nina L. Suresh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Surface electromyography (sEMG) can be used as a biofeedback (BFB) parameter to provide information to participants regarding muscle activation in a variety of settings. The objective of our study is to assess whether an sEMG BFB display during physical therapy sessions for acute spinal cord injured inpatients would assist in increasing muscle use and patient engagement during therapy. In addition, we sought to assess whether the therapist and patients would find the sEMG BFB relevant and useful. To achieve this objective, we examined the effect of visual sEMG BFB system in improving muscle activation and therapeutic outcomes during experimental sessions that mimicked conventional slings therapy sessions with a research therapist providing the therapy. We recruited two inpatients with recent spinal cord injuries (SCI) that had been prescribed (clinical) slings therapy as part of their clinical standard of care at our acute rehabilitation hospital. During each experimental session there were two portions. One was the control period which required the participants to repeat elbow flexion 10 times under conventional clinical slings therapy protocols. The other was the BFB period, where the therapist guided the participant in the same movement but both therapist and the participant were provided with visual feedback of real-time sEMG signals recorded from participant's biceps brachii muscles. Our preliminary results show that both participants demonstrated statistically significant improvement of muscle activation level with the sEMG BFB system compared with conventional clinical slings therapy protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages5121-5124
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538613115
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Event41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 23 2019Jul 27 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
ISSN (Print)1557-170X

Conference

Conference41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
CountryGermany
CityBerlin
Period7/23/197/27/19

Keywords

  • acute spinal cord injury
  • neurorehabilitation
  • slings therapy
  • surface electromyography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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