Research Topic

Gaining Insights into Neuromuscular Adaptation from Electromyography

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About this Research Topic

Electromyography offers a way to probe the neurophysiology of the neuromuscular system in health and pathology. It is well established, for example, that traumatic events may severely affect the control of body movements. Similarly, it is our common experience that practicing a new task leads to improved motor control and thus proficiency. These changes, largely perceived and experienced at the motor level, are hardly dissociated from alterations in the way activation of skeletal muscles is orchestrated; i.e., from neuromuscular adaptation.

Neuromuscular adaptation may manifest in different ways, regardless of its cause, and this can be observed in a number of pathologies and conditions. While people suffering from cerebral infarction or cerebral palsy are often unable to walk smoothly because of motor impairments including excessive activity of ankle plantar flexors, suppression of undue muscle activity is typically observed when learning a new motor task. Musculoskeletal pain changes how muscles are activated in attempt to protect the painful/injured tissues, and these changes in neuromuscular activation strategies are thought to maintain pain and disability in the long term. Pathological co-contraction, impaired coordination of synergistic muscles, inability to finely regulate muscle force and redistribution of activity between different muscles or muscle regions are other examples of neuromuscular adaptations elicited by a myriad of acute and chronic disorders. Aging alone may lead as well to neuromuscular alterations, affecting posture control and general motor skills. In contrast with these deleterious motor effects, adaptations of the neuromuscular system may be associated with improved motor control. Learning to appropriately pattern the activation of populations of muscles is a primary goal of training programs, as establishing optimal muscle activation strategies is the key aim of rehabilitative protocols. Regardless of whether prompted by adverse conditions, training or rehabilitation, the possibility of sampling muscle activity from electromyography is determinant for understanding the mechanisms underpinning neuromuscular adaptation.

This research topic gladly receives contributions focusing on the use of electromyography to gain insights into neuromuscular adaptation. Submission of articles falling within any of the three following areas are encouraged:

- Original manuscripts addressing changes in either the neural or muscular level resulting from abnormal conditions, from chronic disorders, from motor learning or induced by rehabilitative programs.

- Methodological articles highlighting new processing techniques for the extraction of information related to neuromuscular adaptations from electromyograms.

- Interventions aimed at inducing neuromuscular adaptations, with the ultimate goal of improving motor function and clinical outcomes.

- Basic research studies focusing on neuromuscular adaptations to experimental pain or other afferent stimulation techniques are also welcome.

The Topic Editors would like to inform the contributors who are interested in submitting a manuscript to this Research Topic that the project will be open for submissions starting from August 2020, after the Biannual Meeting of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK 2020).


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Electromyography offers a way to probe the neurophysiology of the neuromuscular system in health and pathology. It is well established, for example, that traumatic events may severely affect the control of body movements. Similarly, it is our common experience that practicing a new task leads to improved motor control and thus proficiency. These changes, largely perceived and experienced at the motor level, are hardly dissociated from alterations in the way activation of skeletal muscles is orchestrated; i.e., from neuromuscular adaptation.

Neuromuscular adaptation may manifest in different ways, regardless of its cause, and this can be observed in a number of pathologies and conditions. While people suffering from cerebral infarction or cerebral palsy are often unable to walk smoothly because of motor impairments including excessive activity of ankle plantar flexors, suppression of undue muscle activity is typically observed when learning a new motor task. Musculoskeletal pain changes how muscles are activated in attempt to protect the painful/injured tissues, and these changes in neuromuscular activation strategies are thought to maintain pain and disability in the long term. Pathological co-contraction, impaired coordination of synergistic muscles, inability to finely regulate muscle force and redistribution of activity between different muscles or muscle regions are other examples of neuromuscular adaptations elicited by a myriad of acute and chronic disorders. Aging alone may lead as well to neuromuscular alterations, affecting posture control and general motor skills. In contrast with these deleterious motor effects, adaptations of the neuromuscular system may be associated with improved motor control. Learning to appropriately pattern the activation of populations of muscles is a primary goal of training programs, as establishing optimal muscle activation strategies is the key aim of rehabilitative protocols. Regardless of whether prompted by adverse conditions, training or rehabilitation, the possibility of sampling muscle activity from electromyography is determinant for understanding the mechanisms underpinning neuromuscular adaptation.

This research topic gladly receives contributions focusing on the use of electromyography to gain insights into neuromuscular adaptation. Submission of articles falling within any of the three following areas are encouraged:

- Original manuscripts addressing changes in either the neural or muscular level resulting from abnormal conditions, from chronic disorders, from motor learning or induced by rehabilitative programs.

- Methodological articles highlighting new processing techniques for the extraction of information related to neuromuscular adaptations from electromyograms.

- Interventions aimed at inducing neuromuscular adaptations, with the ultimate goal of improving motor function and clinical outcomes.

- Basic research studies focusing on neuromuscular adaptations to experimental pain or other afferent stimulation techniques are also welcome.

The Topic Editors would like to inform the contributors who are interested in submitting a manuscript to this Research Topic that the project will be open for submissions starting from August 2020, after the Biannual Meeting of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK 2020).


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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