You have decided that EMG personal biofeedback is something you want to use to manage pain or stress. How do you know how and where to place each EMG electrode to get the most from your biofeedback treatment? There are many books and guides for how emg sensors works. Here we will explore some general guidelines on how and where to properly place EMG electrodes to get the most out of your biofeedback system.
What is an EMG Sensor?
EMG sensors are a collection of electrodes that come in many shapes and sizes, depending upon your needs and usage. They affix easily to various parts of the body in order to collect information about your level of stress and tension. Sensors collect data and relay it back to your EMG biofeedback device.
How to Prep Skin for EMG Electrodes?
Each EMG biofeedback home system will offer specific instructions on how to properly attach the sensors. Generally speaking, you will prepare the skin so that you can obtain optimal electrode to skin contact. The better the electrodes contact your skins, the more efficient the results will be. Some studies have suggested that skin cleansing before use and rubbing the skin to prepare for use can enhance the feedback from the sensor. If you are placing the electrodes on a hairy area, removing the hair will improve contact.
Where Do I Place the EMG Electrodes?
The placement of EMG electrodes will vary greatly depending upon the condition or issues you are working to address. In order to properly place the electrodes for maximum success, you must give consideration to the electrodes size, spacing, and location. These are the correct electrode placement for the most common conditions treated with EMG biofeedback.
EMG Electrode Placement for Stress Reduction
When trying to reduce stress or promote a greater sense of well being it is recommended to place the electrodes on the forehead, specifically the frontalis muscle, which is directly above the eyes. For this reason, systems like the Resility Health personal biofeedback unit offer a reusable headband that can be used to comfortably wear the device on the forehead.
EMG Electrode Placement for Neck Pain
Patients living with chronic neck pain can benefit from the use of EMG biofeedback but it is very important to properly place the electrodes for the best outcome. Muscles involved in battle neck pain include the upper, middle and lower trapezius descendens. The trapezius muscles are one of the most common areas to use with EMG biofeedback. This can also help to monitor and learn to relax the shoulders while working at the computer.
EMG Electrode Placement for Back Pain
Chronic back pain can be nothing short of debilitating. EMG biofeedback is showing promising results in the treatment of such pain. When applying electrodes to the back it is helpful to have someone help place the electrodes to ensure proper placement. Targeted the erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae iliocostalis, and the multifidus.
EMG Electrode Placement for Shoulder Pain
When placing electrodes to combat chronic shoulder pain, there are four key focused areas – the upper trapezius, lower trapezius, anterior deltoid, and infraspinatus. Consequently, these supportive muscles, when properly relaxed, can significantly minimize the degree of shoulder pain.
The SENIAM Project – Where to Place EMG Electrodes
The Surface Electromyography for the Non-Invasive Assessment of Muscles (SENIAM) Project is currently the leading source for recommendations regarding the best placement of sensor locations on 30 individual muscles. The project is a collaboration of the Biomedical Health and Research Program (BIOMED II) of the European Union. There were two main objectives at the outset of this project:
• To enhance the exchange of data and clinical experience regarding electromyography
• To integrate research on surface electromyography
Presently, the project is the go-to source for physicians, clinicians and users of biofeedback machines for home use.
When using an EMG personal biofeedback unit it is important to understand where to place the electrodes to get the most out of your experience. Proper electrode placement and a dedication to your treatment will lead to success at achieving improved stress management, decreased pain and better overall health.