A number of investigators in recent years have called for the development of devices that can monitor surface EMG levels in individuals' normal environments for use with patients who suffer from disorders in which the etiology or maintenance of the pathology is presumed to be due at least in part to musculoskeletal dysfunction, such as low back pain, phantom limb pain and tension headache. This study examined the test-retest reliability of just such a device. Twenty-six healthy controls wore a lightweight (24 ounce) device which measured bilateral upper trapezius EMG, as well as peak and integral motion, for 5 consecutive days for up to 18 h each day. ANOVAs on the four measures revealed no difference between any of the four measures over the 5 days. Intra-class correlation coefficients for the two EMG variables across 5 days were both significant with alpha levels set at 0.01. The two EMG measures were highly correlated (r = 0.77); the two motion measures were also highly correlated (r = 0.60), but at a lower magnitude than EMG values; the relationship between EMG and motion was significant, but the magnitude of the between EMG motion correlations (0.26 and 0.35) were lower than the within EMG or motion ones. It was concluded that the test-retest reliability of the ambulatory monitoring device is within acceptable limits. Implications for the use of the device with musculoskeletal pain disorders--particularly headache--are discussed.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PC05900004
View details for PubMedID 7995777