Gender Differences in Spectral and Entropic Measures of Erector Spinae Muscle Fatigue

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Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development


Electromyographic power spectral analysis is a valuable measurement; however, conflicting results have been reported for amplitude and frequency changes during a fatiguing submaximal muscle contraction. This study compared gender differences for two analyses in subjects with low back pain (LBP). Distinct gender differences are found in musculoskeletal illness/dysfunction, and we examined the effect of gender on entropy and median frequency (MF) slope in a cohort of subjects with LBP. A total of 44 subjects (24 female and 20 male) completed the modified Sorenson test. These subjects ranged in age from 26 to 64 years old, with an average age of 49.9 +/- 9.4 years. Overall, a significant fatigability difference was found based on MF slope (F = 21.33, p = 0.001) and entropy measures (F = 68.26, p = 0.001) of the back muscles. While the MF slope was not different (F = 0.44, p = 0.51) between genders, the entropy values were higher for the male subjects than for the female subjects (F = 6.70, p = 0.01). These results indicate that the Shannon entropy measure differentiates between genders. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of using nonlinear analysis as a measurement tool.