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The Clinical Application of Surface Electromyography as an Objective Measure of Change in the Chiropractic Assessment of Patient Progress: A Pilot Study

Simon Kelly and W. R. Boone, Ph.D., D.C.

Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ Volume 2 ~ Number 4 ~ Pages 1-7



A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the application of sEMG, as recorded with the Insight 7000 TM Subluxation Station, to the chiropractic clinical setting as an objective measure of change in assessing patient progress. The study revealed that intra-examiner reliability could be demonstrated through a paired two-tailed t-test which takes variation into consideration, rather than using correlation coefficients which could mask examiner error. Thirty patients under the care of 19 different supervised interns in a clinical teaching setting, were, over a four week period, administered a wide range of adjustments in accordance with a planned regimen of care. Findings revealed that all patients experienced a gradual to significant decline in sEMG activity in either the right and/or left side, in 14 of the 15 paraspinal muscular segments evaluated. This suggested a long term effect in sEMG activity changes, as opposed to a short term physiological response. Additional study is underway to evaluate inter-examiner reliability of the Insight 7000 Subluxation Station in the clinical teaching setting. Investigation is also planned to couple sEMG changes to other physical finding.This level of study is expected to contribute to an understanding of the clinical significance of the effects of the chiropractic adjustment on paraspinal muscular activity.

Key Words:   Surface electromyography, EMG, sEMG, Insight 7000 Subluxation Station, muscle activity, vertebral subluxation, chiropractic clinical practice


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