Article ID: 15-00423
The authors proposed an electromyography computed tomography (EMG-CT) method to measure the distribution of muscle activity in the forearm using surface EMG signals from multiple surface electrodes. The present study is to develop a method to estimate muscle stress, i.e., force generated during contraction per unit area in the whole cross-section of the forearm based on EMG-CT. While three subjects performed hand gripping trials using three hand grip devices, EMG signals around the forearm were measured using EMG-CT. An EMG conduction model of the forearm was constructed using an outline geometry of the subjects' forearm which was measured with a handy 3D scanner. The stress of muscle was calculated from the relationship between gripping force and total muscle activity. As a result, the distribution of muscle stress in the forearm during hand gripping was visualized in a tomographic image. It was clear that the stress was concentrated in the flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor carpi radialis, and extensor digitorum communis region. The maximum stress in the forearm muscles increased from 0.08 ± 0.01 to 0.18 ± 0.02 MPa when gripping force increased from 77 to 242 N. This study provides a novel method of measuring muscle stress in forearm.