The effect of back muscle fatigue on EMG and kinematics based estimation of low-back loads and active moments during manual lifting tasks

A. Tabasi*, N. P. Brouwer, I. Kingma, Wietse van Dijk, M. P. de Looze, A. Moya-Esteban, H. van der Kooij, J. H. van Dieën

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of back muscle fatigue on the estimation of low-back loads and active low-back moments during lifting, using an EMG and kinematics based model calibrated with data from an unfatigued state. Fourteen participants performed lifting tasks in unfatigued and fatigued states. Fatigue was induced through semi-static forward bending. EMG, kinematics, and ground reaction forces were measured, and low-back loads were estimated using inverse dynamics and EMG-driven muscle model. A regression model was developed using data from a set of calibration lifts, and its accuracy was evaluated for unfatigued and fatigued lifts. During the fatigue-inducing task, the EMG amplitude increased by 2.8 %MVC, representing a 38% increase relative to the initial value. However, during the fatigued lifts, the peak EMG amplitude was found to be 1.6 %MVC higher than that observed during the unfatigued lifts, representing a mere 4% increase relative to the baseline unfatigued peak EMG amplitude. Kinematics and low-back load estimates remained unaffected. Regression model estimation errors remained unaffected for 5 kg lifts, but increased by no more than 5% of the peak active low-back moment for 15 kg lifts. We conclude that the regression-based estimation quality of active low-back moments can be maintained during periods of muscle fatigue, although errors may slightly increase for heavier loads.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102815
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of electromyography and kinesiology
Volume73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Back muscle fatigue
  • Exoskeleton control
  • Low-back load estimation

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