The Location of Peak Upper Trapezius Muscle Activity during Submaximal Contractions is not Associated with the Location of Myofascial Trigger Points: New Insights Revealed by High-density Surface EMG

Marco Barbero, Deborah Falla, Luca Mafodda, Corrado Cescon, Roberto Gatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To apply topographical mapping of the electromyography (EMG) amplitude recorded from the upper trapezius muscle to evaluate the distribution of activity and the location of peak activity during a shoulder elevation task in participants with and without myofascial pain and myofascial trigger points (MTrP) and compare this location with the site of the MTrP. Materials and Methods: Thirteen participants with myofascial pain and MTrP in the upper trapezius muscle and 12 asymptomatic individuals participated. High-density surface EMG was recorded from the upper trapezius muscle using a matrix of 64 surface electrodes aligned with an anatomic landmark system (ALS). Each participant performed a shoulder elevation task consisting of a series of 30 s ramped contractions to 15% or 60% of their maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force. Topographical maps of the EMG average rectified value were computed and the peak EMG amplitude during the ramped contractions was identified and its location determined with respect to the ALS. The location of the MTrP was also determined relative to the ALS and Spearman correlation coefficients were used to examine the relationship between MTrP and peak EMG amplitude location. Results: The location of the peak EMG amplitude was significantly (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1044 - 1052
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Volume32
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 28 2016

Keywords

  • high-density surface electromyography
  • Myofascial trigger points
  • ramped isometric contractions
  • topographical maps
  • upper trapezius muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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