About this Research Topic
Physiotherapy (PT), physical and rehabilitation medicine, and neurology are among the branches of clinical practice with the strongest and fastest growing interactions with physiology, physics and neurorehabilitation engineering. This is creating growth pains and a large gap between the available knowledge and measurement techniques and their use in the current clinical practice. In times of limited resources, the future perspective and developments of these specialties will increasingly depend on the evidence supporting the effectiveness of preventive and therapeutic interventions in the light of Evidence Based Rehabilitation (EBR). Surface EMG (sEMG) is one of the tools providing such evidence.
Surface EMG is an important tool in neurorehabilitation and concerns characterization of walking, assessment of post-stroke and post-SCI motor recovery, spasticity assessment, biofeedback and “serious games”, study of muscle synergies, control of prosthesis, exoskeletons and robots, body-machine interfaces, non-invasive extraction of neural control strategies, myoelectric manifestations of muscle fatigue, cramps, and many other areas.
The sEMG field is representative of the situation, with over 700 publications/year, 90 review papers and a dozen textbooks, contrasting with the limited clinical use and almost no teaching in the PT schools of most countries. The purpose of this project is to review and discuss the reasons for this situation that is in contrast with the rapid spreading of ECG and EEG over 60 years ago.
All rehabilitation professionals and researchers in the field are encouraged to submit contributions describing and discussing:
a) examples of the current and near-future realistic clinical applications of sEMG technology in neurorehabilitation having a documented impact on EBR and reduction of health delivery costs;
b) the future perspectives and impact of the growing interactions between Rehabilitation Engineering, where the sEMG-based assessment instrumentation is developed, and Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Medicine where the technology is used;
c) the relevance of sEMG in the measurement of impairment versus the estimate of function;
d) the necessary changes in education and training of professors and students in the field, at all academic levels, the experience with traditional and on-line teaching tools and materials and the need
to adopt new teaching formats and curricula;
e) the knowledge translation efforts to be implemented to reduce the gap between “knowing” and “doing” that must take place at the educational and other levels.
Methodological contributions related to detection/processing/interpretation of sEMG as a tool for neurorehabilitation will be considered as secondary.
Keywords: Surface Electromyography, sEMG, Clinical Applications, Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Teaching, Knowledge Transfer, Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy Schools, Rehabilitation Medicine Schools, Dynamic EMG, Gait Analysis
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