Recent evidence suggests the minimization of muscular effort rather than of the size of bodily sway may be the primary, nervous system goal when regulating the human, standing posture. Different programs have been proposed for balance training; none however has been focused on the activation of postural muscles during standing. In this study we investigated the possibility of minimizing the activation of the calf muscles during standing through biofeedback. By providing subjects with an audio signal that varied in amplitude and frequency with the amplitude of surface electromyograms (EMG) recorded from different regions of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, we expected them to be able to minimize the level of muscle activation during standing without increasing the excursion of the center of pressure (CoP). CoP data and surface EMG from gastrocnemii, soleus and tibialis anterior muscles were obtained from 10 healthy participants while standing at ease and while standing with EMG biofeedback. Four sensitivities were used to test subjects' responsiveness to the EMG biofeedback. Compared with standing at ease, the two most sensitive feedback conditions induced a decrease in plantar flexor activity (~15%; P < 0.05) and an increase in tibialis anterior EMG (~10%; P < 0.05). Furthermore, CoP mean position significantly shifted backward (~30 mm). In contrast, the use of less sensitive EMG biofeedback resulted in a significant decrease in EMG activity of ankle plantar flexors with a marginal increase in TA activity compared with standing at ease. These changes were not accompanied by greater CoP displacements or significant changes in mean CoP position. Key results revealed subjects were able to keep standing stability while reducing the activity of gastrocnemius and soleus without loading their tibialis anterior muscle when standing with EMG biofeedback. These results may therefore posit the basis for the development of training protocols aimed at assisting subjects in more efficiently controlling leg muscle activity during standing.
|Titolo:||Young, healthy subjects can reduce the activity of calf muscles when provided with EMG biofeedback in upright stance|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.3389/fphys.2016.00158|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|