Design and Assessment of an Adaptive Intermittent Cervical Traction Modality With EMG Biofeedback

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Y. Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chang Gung College of Medicine and Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan

M. K. Wong, F. T. Tang

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan

W. H. Chang

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chuan Yuan Christian University, Chuan Li, Taiwan

W. K. Chiou

Computer Center, Chang Gung Institute of Nursing, Taoyuan, Taiwan

J Biomech Eng 118(4), 597-600 (Nov 01, 1996) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2796050 History: Received June 08, 1995; Revised March 13, 1996; Online October 30, 2007


An intermittent cervical traction modality with closed-loop traction force control based on EMG biofeedback was developed and used for clinical study. This system consists of a EMG scanner, on-line self-adjusted traction force controller, audio/video alarm system, real time therapeutic status display, computer interface hardware, and control software. Twenty-four subjects with diagnosed cervical radiculopathy and muscle spasm symptom who were randomly divided into two groups served as subjects in this study. The control and experimental groups were treated with conventional open loop and new EMG biofeedback closed loop traction control protocols respectively. The results of this study indicate that the average reductions in paraspinal EMG signal during traction after 7 weeks treatment for experimental and control groups were 71 and 50 percent, respectively (p < 0.001). These results not only support the clinical use of intermittent, sitting traction to produce cervical paraspinal muscle relaxation, but also revealed that the average myoelectric activity of cervical paraspinal muscle during traction was reduced as traction force increased over the 7-week duration of traction treatment. Through EMG biofeedback traction force control, muscle injury, neck soreness, or pain after traction may be avoided.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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