Surface Electromyography in Clinical Practice. A Perspective From a Developing Country

Manzur-Valdivia, Hachi; Alvarez-Ruf, Joel


Surface electromyography (sEMG) has long been used in research, health care, and other fields such as ergonomics and brain-machine interfaces. In health care, sEMG has been employed to diagnose as well as to treat musculoskeletal disorders, pelvic floor dysfunction, and post-stroke motor deficits, among others. Despite the extensive literature on sEMG, the clinical community has not widely adopted it. We believe that in developing countries, such as Chile, this phenomenon may be explained by several interacting barriers. First, the socioeconomics of the country creates an environment where only high cost-effective treatments are routinely applied. Second, the majority of the sEMG literature on clinical applications has not extensively translated into decisive outcomes, which interferes with its applicability in low-income contexts. Third, clinical training on rehabilitation provides inadequate instruction on sEMG. And fourth, accessibility to equipment (i.e., affordability, availability, portability) may constitute another barrier, especially among developing countries. Here, we analyze socio-economic indicators of health care in Chile and comment on current literature about the use of sEMG in rehabilitation. Then we analyze the curricula of several physical therapy schools in Chile and report some estimations of the training on sEMG. Finally, we analyze the accessibility of some available sEMG devices and show that several match predefined criteria. We conclude that in developing countries, the insufficient use of sEMG in health might be explained by a shortage of evidence showing a crucial role in specific outcomes and the lack of training in rehabilitation-related careers, which interact with local socioeconomic factors that limit the application of these techniques.

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Título según WOS: Surface Electromyography in Clinical Practice. A Perspective From a Developing Country
Título de la Revista: FRONTIERS IN NEUROLOGY
Volumen: 11
Fecha de publicación: 2020


Notas: ISI