Foot and ankle muscle activation in balance tasks

© IfS - Bewegungswissenschaft

Foot and ankle muscle activity increases when balance tasks become more challenging. However, we know little about how these activities change over time, for example after injury or with training. Therefore, we need to develop a method, with which we can compare the EMG signals of the muscles at different points in time during a 12-week rehabilitation study. Usually, the EMG signal of a muscle is normalised using a maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) signal of a muscle. However, in our experience, asking a subject to maximally contract their small intrinsic foot muscles is not possible, at least not possible for many people. Hence, a different way of analysing the EMG signals needs to be found.
Furthermore, we want to better understand how foot and ankle segment motion is controlled by the foot and ankle muscles. Therefore, the EMG foot muscle signals will be related to the foot segment motion for various balance tasks.