An Attempt to Bridge Muscle Architecture Dynamics and Its Instantaneous Rate of Force Development using Ultrasonography
Jizhou Li Ultrasonics Available online 4 April 2015
• Higher temporal resolution regarding the rate of force development (RFD), named the instantaneous rate of force development (I-RFD), is presented to describe the ability to rapidly develop muscular force.
• The proposed indirect method based ultrasonography is believed to be a promising alternative means to assess instantaneous torque output non-invasively.
• The experiment results showed there was a linear relationship between the plantar flexor torque/force output and muscle architecture dynamics.
Muscle force output is an essential index in rehabilitation assessment or physical exams, and could provide considerable insights for various applications such as load monitoring and muscle assessment in sports science or rehabilitation therapy. Besides direct measurement of force output using a dynamometer, electromyography has earlier been used in several studies to quantify muscle force as an indirect means. However, its spatial resolution is easily compromised as a summation of the action potentials from neighboring motor units of electrode site. To explore an alternative method to indirectly estimate the muscle force output, and with better muscle specificity, we started with an investigation on the relationship between architecture dynamics and force output of triceps surae. The muscular architecture dynamics is captured in ultrasonography sequences and estimated using a previously reported motion estimation method. Then an indicator named as the dorsoventrally averaged motion profile (DAMP) is employed. The performance of force output is represented by an instantaneous version of the rate of force development (RFD), namely I-RFD.
From experimental results on ten normal subjects, there were significant correlations between the I-RFD and DAMP for triceps surae, both normalized between 0 and 1, with the sum of squares error at 0.0516 ±± 0.0224, R-square at 0.7929 ±± 0.0931 and root mean squared error at 0.0159 ±± 0.0033. The statistical significance results were less than 0.01.
The present study suggested that muscle architecture dynamics extracted from ultrasonography during contraction is well correlated to the I-RFD and it can be a promising option for indirect estimation of muscle force output.
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