Electromyographic Power Spectrum Analysis of the Paraspinal Muscles: Long-Term Reliability

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As a prerequisite to the use of electromyographic power spectral analysis of the paraspinal muscles as a low-back pain treatment outcome measure, the long-term reliability of the technique was assessed. The myoelectric signals of the multifidus and iliocostalis lumborum muscles of healthy sedentary women were analyzed with regard to spectral parameters during a constant-force contraction, before and after a 3-month period. Results indicated that for both muscles, estimates of initial median frequency and amplitude had high test/retest reliability, but that the recovery and left-right difference parameters were not stable. Using a confidence interval method, test/retest variation for the fatigue parameter was found to be within the range of variability of potentially underlying metabolic processes.

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