Upper Limb Associated Reactions: The Relationship Between Movement Kinematics and Muscle Activity in Seated Versus Walking Testing

Michelle B. Kahn, Gavin Williams, Benjamin F. Mentiplay, Kelly J Bower, John H. Olver, Ross Allan Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to (1) evaluate the relationships between stationary and dynamic associated reaction (AR) tests in people with acquired brain injury using surface electromyography (sEMG) muscle activity and three-dimensional motion analysis kinematic measures and (2) assess the test-retest reliability of sEMG and seated tests of ARs. DESIGN: Forty-two adults with acquired brain injury underwent AR testing with seated contralateral maximal voluntary isometric contraction tests and walking (self-selected and fast speeds). Associated reaction measurements included biceps brachii sEMG, elbow goniometry, and three-dimensional motion analysis kinematics during walking. Pearson correlations evaluated the relationships between seated and dynamic walking AR tests and between muscle activity and kinematic measures. Chronic participants were reassessed 1 wk later for reliability. RESULTS: A strong (r = 0.65) and moderate (r = 0.53) relationship existed for biceps brachii sEMG during seated and walking tests at self-selected and fast walk, respectively. A weak to moderate relationship existed between biceps brachii sEMG and kinematics during walking and between seated and walking measures of ARs (r = 0.23-0.53). All tests had strong to very strong test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients, >0.78). CONCLUSION: Seated contralateral maximal voluntary isometric contraction tests correlate only weakly to moderately with AR walking kinematics and moderately to strongly with biceps brachii activation during walking. Moderate relationships exist between sEMG and kinematics, indicating that they may provide different information for ARs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Cite this