Frontiers editorial project
Frontiers in Neurorehabilitation, Editorial Project on: “Surface Electromyography: Barriers limiting widespread use of sEMG in clinical assessment and neurorehabilitation.”
Catherine Disselhorst-Klug, Ph.D., Head of Dept. of Rehabilitation and Prevention Engineering / RPE, Institute of Applied Medical Engineering - RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany. E-Mail: [email protected]
William Z. Rymer, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Single Motor Unit Laboratory, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Professor, Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Physiology, and Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA. E-Mail: [email protected]
Isabella Campanini, PT, Ph.D. Head of the Motion Analysis Laboratory of the Rehabilitation Department of the Azienda USL-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia, Italy E-Mail: [email protected]
The project is under way: three contributions are published, out of 18 expected, and others will be published soon
About this project:
Physiotherapy (PT), physical and rehabilitation medicine, and neurology are among the branches of clinical practice with the strongest and fastest growing interactions with physiology, physics and neurorehabilitation engineering. This is creating growth pains and a large gap between the available knowledge and measurement techniques and their use in the current clinical practice. In times of limited resources, the future perspective and developments of these specialties will increasingly depend on the evidence supporting the effectiveness of preventive and therapeutic interventions in the light of Evidence Based Rehabilitation (EBR). Surface EMG (sEMG) is one of the tools providing such evidence.
Surface EMG is an important tool in neurorehabilitation and concerns characterization of walking, assessment of post-stroke and post-SCI motor recovery, spasticity assessment, biofeedback and “serious games”, study of muscle synergies, control of prosthesis, exoskeletons and robots, body-machine interfaces, non-invasive extraction of neural control strategies, myoelectric manifestations of muscle fatigue, cramps, and many other areas.
The sEMG field is addressing these problems, with over 700 publications/year, 90 review papers and a dozen textbooks, contrasting with the limited clinical use and almost no teaching in the PT schools of most countries. The purpose of this project is to review and discuss the reasons for this situation that is in contrast with the rapid spreading of ECG and EEG a few decades ago.