Influence of Knee Bandages on EMG-Quadriceps Muscle Patterns during "Drop-Jump"

Thorwesten L, Engels K, Jerosch J

Research article in edited proceedings (conference)


KEY WORDS: EMG, drop jump, muscular activation latency, knee bandages,proprioception INTRODUCTION: Therapeutic management of knee injuries is still a central topicin the field of sports traumatology. Different therapeutic concepts and functional training, as well as proprioceptive stimulation with external devices, have been discussed for optimized active muscular stabilization (2, 8, 10, 11). The mechanical stabilization of external devices is discussed secondarily and is even ignored by some authors (12). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of kneebandages on EMG patterns of quadriceps muscles performing "drop jumps” from various heights. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 12 healthy male volunteers (mean age: 24.7±2.8years; mean weight: 78.3±4.0 kg; mean height: 184.5 ±6.2 cm) with a regular training frequency of at least 5.7 hours a week were tested, performing four "dropjumps” from each height (16cm, 32cm, 48cm, 64cm; 80 cm) using 2 types of kneebandages ("Kasseler-patellar-tendon bandage"; "Genu-plus" bandage), as well asnone, in a randomized order. Muscular activation of the knee-stabilizing muscles was recorded by an 8-channel EMG-System with surface electrodes. For the assignment of ground reaction forces we used a Kistler platform (Fig. 1). Using a template the positions of electrodes were marked on the skin. After shaving and drying the skin the electrodes (blue sensor, Fa. Medicotest) were fixed on m.rectus femoris, m. vastus lateralis, and m. vastus medialis. The raw EMG-signal was transformed and calculated using the MYO-DAT-5.0 software (Orthodata/Lüdenscheid Germany). The time between first ground contact and first EMG-peak was taken for calculating the muscular activation latency for eachmuscle group. The patellar tendon bandage consists of an inelastic circular ribbonwith a small cone-shaped cushion pad in front. In addition to this device, the "super-genuplus" bandage has an elastic bandage with an integrated silicon-frictionring which encircled the patella. Mean values of all data regarding bandage type and drop height were calculated; statistical evaluation for significant differences was performed at the 95% confidence level using SPSS (6.1.3.d) statistical software. RESULTS: Regarding the activation latency of the different muscle groups after first ground contact, a steady decrease in activation latency depending on drop height could be measured for the m. rectus femoris using the patellar tendon bandage, unlike the drop jumps without a bandage device. A similar tendency could be demonstrated using the "super genuplus" bandage, excepting the dropheight of 48 cm. (Fig. 2) At a drop height of 16 cm the m. vastus lateralis showed nearly the same activation latency either using a bandage or without a bandage.With an increasing drop height the muscular activation time decreases using both bandages as shown in Figure 3. According to the tendency the activation of the m. vastus medialis showed similar development regarding different drop heights. Our results showed a significantly shorter activation latency of the different parts of the quadriceps muscle (m. rectus femoris; m. vastus lateralis; m. vastus medialis) with increasing jumping height using a knee bandage compared to those dropjumps without a knee bandage. DISCUSSION: In 1978 Levine gathered initial experiences with the mechanism of patellar tendon bandages (9). Patients with chondropathia patellae where treated with slight pressure on the ligamentum patellae using a special bandage. Most ofthe patients showed an increasing tonic reaction of the quadriceps muscle with contemporaneous pain reduction. The attempted explanation was based on neurophysiologic reflex inhibition. In different examinations Hildebrandt et al. could demonstrate increasing standing stability as well as pain reduction, using kneebandages (5, 6, 7). The mechanical stabilization of knee bandages was evaluated by Schmickal et al. (12). Testing a knee model they could not demonstrate stabilization effects using elastic bandages. Also, the influence of knee bandages on proprioceptive capabilities was evaluated by different authors using an angle reproduction test (1, 8, 10). Schaff et al. in 1995 and Gutenbrunner et al. in 1997 (4) could demonstrate the influence on muscle innervation using infrapatellar taping or patellar tendon bandages. Their corresponding results showed a higher EMG-Signal during a "one-leg-square-hop" after application of a bandage, as well as shorter activationlatency of the m. quadriceps during drop jumps from a height of 10 cm. As distinguished from these examinations, in this study only healthy volunteers were evaluated and in addition to this the drop height was varied in a randomized order. The faster response of the knee stabilizing muscle seems to be influencedby infrapatellar pressure, as well as the drop height. The additional stimulation to the skin receptors using the super genuplus bandage with the integrated patellartendon bandage seems to have no benefit. To what extend sports specific capabilities as well as gonarthrotic or ACL-deficient patients are influenced by kneebandages remains unanswered. Therefore further investigation is necessary. CONCLUSION: With regard to the influence of knee bandages on sensomotoric functions it seems to be profitable to use such a proprioceptive stimulation for optimizing active muscular stabilisation.

Details zur Publikation

Publisher: Riehle HJ, Vieten M
Book title: Proceedings II
Release year: 1998
Publishing company: UVK-Universitätsverlag
ISBN: 3-87940-649-9
Language in which the publication is writtenEnglish
Event: Konstanz
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