This article introduces the area of scientific study of human movement. It is primarily intended for readers who wish to form a judgement on the usefulness of scientific movement analysis techniques in the treatment process of patients with abnormal movement patterns. With a focus on the analysis of human locomotion, the paper outlines the historical development of a biomechanical approach towards the understanding of human movement patterns. This approach alone proves to be inadequate in supplying reliable information on neuromuscular control of movement. It follows that electromyographic techniques are essential for this purpose. Scientific literature reveals relevant practical usability of such information. This is the rationale for a review of the historical, physiological, technical and methodological background of electromyographic analysis of movement. The field of management and rehabilitation of motor disability is identified as one important application area. On the basis of relevant literature, the present paper asserts that scientific analysis of human movement patterns can materially affect patient treatment. It provides evidence that patient management and rehabilitation processes in central neurological disorders can be improved through electromyographic techniques. In particular, this evidence supports the use of electromyography for surgical planning in children with cerebral palsy. The paper concludes with a view on future directions in research, development and applications of scientific analysis of human movement.
- Movement analysis