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Differences in muscle activity during hand-dexterity tasks between women with arthritis and a healthy reference group
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS). Health and Welfare, Dala Sports Academy, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden.
Department of Research and Education, Halmstad County Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden & Department of Medicine, Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS). Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund, Section of Rheumatology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden & Research and Development Center, Spenshult, Oskarström, Sweden. (BLESS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8081-579X
2014 (English)In: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, ISSN 1471-2474, E-ISSN 1471-2474, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 154Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Impaired hand function is common in patients with arthritis and it affects performance of daily activities; thus, hand exercises are recommended. There is little information on the extent to which the disease affects activation of the flexor and extensor muscles during these hand-dexterity tasks. The purpose of this study was to compare muscle activation during such tasks in subjects with arthritis and in a healthy reference group.

METHODS: Muscle activation was measured in m. extensor digitorium communis (EDC) and in m. flexor carpi radialis (FCR) with surface electromyography (EMG) in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n = 20), hand osteoarthritis (HOA, n = 16) and in a healthy reference group (n = 20) during the performance of four daily activity tasks and four hand exercises. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) was measured to enable intermuscular comparisons, and muscle activation is presented as %MVIC.

RESULTS: The arthritis group used a higher %MVIC than the reference group in both FCR and EDC when cutting with a pair of scissors, pulling up a zipper and-for the EDC-also when writing with a pen and using a key (p < 0.02). The exercise "rolling dough with flat hands" required the lowest %MVIC and may be less effective in improving muscle strength.

CONCLUSIONS: Women with arthritis tend to use higher levels of muscle activation in daily tasks than healthy women, and wrist extensors and flexors appear to be equally affected. It is important that hand training programs reflect real-life situations and focus also on extensor strength. © 2014 Brorsson et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, England: BioMed Central, 2014. Vol. 15, no 1, article id 154
Keywords [en]
Muscle activation, Muscle extension force, Flexion force, Female, Daily activities
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26417DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-15-154ISI: 000337326200001PubMedID: 24886491Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84903584119OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-26417DiVA, id: diva2:745449
Available from: 2014-09-10 Created: 2014-09-10 Last updated: 2018-10-22Bibliographically approved

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Brorsson, SofiaNilsdotter, AnnaBremander, Ann

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