This study was designed to assess, in elderly neuropathic diabetic (DN) patients, the activation patterns of the main muscles involved in the Functional Reach (FR) Test, a well-recognized method to identify elderly subjects at risk of recurrent falls. Surface electromyographic (sEMG) analysis of Sternocleidomastoideus (Scm), Rectus Abdominis (RAbd), Erectores Spinae at L4 level (L4), Rectus Femoris (RF), Hamstrings (Ham), Tibialis Anterior (TA) and Soleus (Sol) was performed to this aim. Results in DN patients are compared with a control group (CH) of healthy age-matched subjects. In DN patients, TA is identified as the first muscle to be recruited (ON at -34% of the FR-period) before the movement start, in order to initiate the body forward displacement. RF is the first muscle to be recruited after TA and, togheter with RAbd, showed a progressive earlier onset from CH group. Sol and Ham (ON after the FR-start), followed by L4, act mainly as tonic muscles, opposing the movement and preventing falls. Compared to the CH group, the DN subjects show an anticipatory recruitment (-34%±6%) of TA, showing a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) in comparison to CH group, together with the Scm activation. Results suggest a trend of DN patients in anticipating the activation of the anterior muscles of the body. This is likely due to an attempt to compensate the neuropathy-related proprioception dysfunction and to adjust the movement timing. In conclusion, the present study shows that sEMG is a suitable tool to deepen the interpretation of the FR-test execution and proposes the earlier start of TA as a possible element to identify the presence of neuropathy in diabetic subjects
Assessment of the activation patterns of the muscles involved in the FR test in diabetic neuropathic patients / Maranesi, Elvira; DI NARDO, Francesco; Ghetti, G. G.; Mercante, O.; Rabini, R. A.; Burattini, Laura; Fioretti, Sandro. - ELETTRONICO. - 2015-:(2015), pp. 6062-6065. (Intervento presentato al convegno 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2015 tenutosi a MiCo Center, Milano Congressi Center, ita nel 2015) [10.1109/EMBC.2015.7319774].