Author(s): Granata KP, Slota GP, Bennett BC
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Neuromuscular control of spinal stability may be represented as a control system wherein the paraspinal muscle reflex acts as feedback response to kinetic and kinematic disturbances of the trunk. The influence of preparatory muscle recruitment for the control of spinal stability has been previously examined, but there are few reported studies that characterize paraspinal reflex gain as feedback response. In the current study, the input-output dynamics of paraspinal reflexes were quantified by means of the impulse response function (IRF), with trunk perturbation force representing the input signal and EMG the output signal. Surface EMGs were collected from the trunk muscles in response to a brief anteriorly directed impact force applied to the trunk of healthy participants. Reflex behavior was measured in response to three levels of force impulse, 6.1, 9.2 and 12.0 Ns, and two different levels of external trunk flexion preload, 0 and 110 N anterior force. Reflex EMG was quantifiable in response to 91\% of the perturbations. Mean reflex onset latency was 30.7+/-21.3 ms and reflex amplitude increased with perturbation amplitude. Impulse response function gain, G(IRF), was defined as the peak amplitude of the measured IRF and provided a consistent measure of response behavior. EMG reflex amplitude and G(IRF) increased with force impulse. Mean G(IRF) was 2.27+/-1.31\% MVC/Ns and demonstrated declining trend with flexion preload. Results agree with a simple systems model of the neuromechanical feedback behavior. The relative contribution of the reflex dynamics to spinal stability must be investigated in future research.
This article was published in J Biomech
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Biomechanics