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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.9 - 2007

Short-term repeatability of parameters extracted from radial displacement of muscle belly

Dejan Križaj, Boštjan Šimunič, Tomaž Žagar
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia


The aim of this study is to analyze the short-term repeatability of the parameters extracted from radial muscle belly response on a stimulation pulse. The method uses a prefixed tension of a displacement sensor tip to the muscle and is being developed for noninvasive and selective evaluation of skeletal muscle contraction properties. Five parameters were extracted and statistically evaluated from the measured displacement: maximal displacement, delay time, contraction time, sustains time and half relaxation time. Care has been taken to leave sufficient time between stimulation pulses in order to reduce the effect of muscle fatigue and a constant pre-tension was assured by controlled step motor in consecutive measurement by withdrawal and anew placement of the sensor to the muscle belly after each measurement. Intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and normalized squared error (NSEM) were used as measures of short-term repeatability and accuracy (precision) of the measurements while fatigue rate was evaluated using area-ratio fatigue index and normalized slope. All five measured parameters have been found highly repeatable (ICC from 0.86 to 0.98) and can be measured with high precision (NSEM from 0.43 to 1.93). Maximal displacement and half relaxation time show largest influence to muscle fatigue rate and are also expected to be the best measure of the fatigue rate. This investigation should serve as an initial study of repeatability of the presented method that should help in subsequent investigations and use of the method.

Key words: 

tensiomyography, mechanomyography

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