As muscles contract, microvolt level electrical signals are created within the muscle that may be measured from the surface of the body. A procedure that measures muscle activity from the skin is referred to as surface electromyography (SEMG).
Researchers and clinicians use SEMG to evaluate the functional status of skeletal muscles and assist in neuromuscular training and rehabilitation. The small electrical current, or signal, which comes from active muscles, is detected by sensors placed on the skin directly above the muscles. The strength and pattern of the signal is displayed onto a computer screen and the data is collected in a software program that is able to run various analyses of the data to create useful reports regarding muscle function.
Noraxon’s SEMG technology has proven to be a major advancement in the tools used by physical therapists. Clinicians are observing how muscles fatigue and are more accurately measuring how long muscles take to recover. These measurements, along with asymmetry analysis, enable clinicians to determine not only when a patient has performed sufficient exercise, but more importantly whether treatment is being focused on the proper muscles. Using this information, therapy may progress faster and produce improved results.