Hints for Analyzing EMG
Once an EMG waveform has been obtained, it is often necessary to process the waveform to extract useful information. The type of analysis depends upon the application but the following guidelines may be helpful.
- EMG waveforms are fundamentally bursts of random signals with certain characteristics that indicate timing, force and fatigue.
- After acquiring a waveform, remove unwanted sections of the trace. There is often a period before the activity of interest and a period after - removing these reduces the data and speeds up subsequent processing.
- Display the waveform as an RMS signal to obtain meaningful amplitude values.
- As an alternative to an RMS display, rectify and then average the signal to produce a mean absolute waveform.
- Use the median frequency filter to estimate muscle fatigue.
- Frequency analysis only has a meaning for muscle activity where the length of the contracting muscle remains constant.
- Several filters may be cascaded. For example, the RMS value can be produced followed by a median frequency filter.
- To measure muscle timing, be careful not to apply too much filtering. Taking an average over many samples will effectively delay the onset of muscle activity as seen on the filtered waveform.
Biometrics DataLINK/DataLOG EMG Sensors
Taking EMG Measurements
Display and Analysis of EMG Data
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