Surface EMG alterations induced by underwater recording.

Rainoldi, Alberto and Cescon, Corrado and Bottin, Andrea and Casale, Roberto and Caruso, Ignazio (2004) Surface EMG alterations induced by underwater recording. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 14 (3). pp. 325-331. ISSN 1050-6411

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Background and Purpose: This study aims to verify if amplitude and spectral characteristics of surface EMG signal are modified due to recording in a wet environment. Methods: Isometric contractions of the biceps brachii muscle of ten subjects were performed in several different set-up combinations, both in dry (D) and in water from hydrotherapy pools (PW), with (PWM) or without moving the pool water and with (T) or without water-resistant adhesive taping. Results: In PW condition the amplitude of the recorded signal is reduced to 5–10% of the corresponding signal recorded in D condition. In PWM the power spectrum is drastically reduced and altered by the water movement that introduces an increase of spectral power in the frequency range 0–20 Hz. The use of T modality allows to record signals with both amplitude and spectral frequencies comparable with those obtained in the D conditions. Discussion and Conclusion: This work demonstrates the need for water resistant taping when EMG signals are recorded in water. Signals recorded without such a protective film are strongly affected in their amplitude and frequency characteristics by the conductivity and the movement of water.

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