Michael E Gerling

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (3)5.77 Total impact

  • Michael E Gerling, Stephen H M Brown
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    ABSTRACT: The latissimus dorsi is primarily considered a muscle with actions at the shoulder, despite its widespread attachments at the spine. There is some dispute regarding the potential contribution of this muscle to lumbar spine function. The architectural design of a muscle is one of the most accurate predictors of muscle function; however, detailed architectural data on the latissimus dorsi muscle are limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify the architectural properties of the latissimus dorsi muscle and model mechanical function in light of these new data. One latissimus dorsi muscle was removed from each of 12 human cadavers, separated into regions, and micro-dissected for quantification of fascicle length, sarcomere length, and physiological cross-sectional area. From these data, sarcomere length operating ranges were modelled to determine the force-length characteristics of latissimus dorsi across the spine and shoulder ranges of motion. The physiological cross-sectional area of latissimus dorsi was 5.6 ± 0.5 cm(2) and normalized fascicle length was 26.4 ± 1.0 cm, indicating that this muscle is designed to produce a moderate amount of force over a large range of lengths. Measured sarcomere length in the post-mortem neutral spine posture was nearly optimal at 2.69 ± 0.06 μm. Across spine range of motion, biomechanical modelling predicted latissimus dorsi acts across both the ascending and descending limbs of the force-length curve during lateral bend, and primarily at or near the plateau region (where maximum force generation is possible) during flexion/extension and axial twist. Across shoulder range of motion, latissimus dorsi acts primarily on the plateau region and descending limbs of the force length curve during both flexion/extension and abduction/adduction. These data provide novel insights into the ability of the latissimus dorsi muscle to generate force and change length throughout the spine and shoulder ranges of motion. In addition, these findings provide an improved understanding of the spine and shoulder positions at which the force-generating capacity of this muscle can become jeopardized, and consequently how this may affect its spine-stabilizing ability.
    Journal of Anatomy 06/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVCs) are commonly used to normalize electromyography (EMG) data and must be reliable even if the individual has no prior experience performing MVCs. This study explored the effect of familiarization over three testing sessions on MVC performance and reliability by comparing muscle activation during standardized maximal and sub-maximal muscle contractions. Participants were recruited into two groups: (1) individuals who regularly engaged in upper body resistance training; (2) individuals with little or no prior experience in upper body resistance training. EMG was collected from two pairs of muscles; biceps brachii and triceps brachii from the arm, and erector spinae and external oblique from the trunk. The trunk muscles were chosen as muscles that are less frequently activated in isolation in day-to-day life. It was found that there were no significant improvements in MVC performance or within-day reliability over the three testing sessions for both resistance trained and non-resistance trained groups. Resistance-trained individuals showed a trend to be more reliable within-day than non-resistance trained participants. Day-to-day MVC reliability, particularly of the erector spinae muscle, was limited in some participants. This suggests that further efforts are needed to improve our capability of reliably eliciting muscle activation MVCs for EMG normalization, especially for muscles that are less frequently activated in isolation.
    Journal of electromyography and kinesiology: official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology 06/2012; 22(6):886-892. · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    Stephen H M Brown, Michael E Gerling
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    ABSTRACT: Muscle physiological cross-sectional area predicts the maximum capability of a muscle to generate isometric force. Biomechanical models often use estimates of individual muscle physiological cross-sectional area to partition internal forces among different muscles and predict joint forces and stability. In the spine literature, these physiological cross-sectional area values are generally obtained from imaging or cadaveric studies that have not accounted for a potential lengthened or shortened (and thus thinned or thickened, respectively) state of the muscles in question. Sarcomere length measurements can be used to normalize muscle lengths and correct for these length discrepancies. This article was designed to demonstrate potential effects of not accounting for instantaneous sarcomere length when calculating the physiological cross-sectional area of muscles of the spine region. Because some muscles of the spine region appear to be shortened and others lengthened in the neutral spine posture, both over- and under-estimations of physiological cross-sectional area are possible. Specifically, it is shown that the muscle physiological cross-sectional area could be over-estimated or under-estimated by as much as + 36% (multifidus) and -21% (rectus abdominis), respectively. This differential error effect poses difficulties in accurately estimating individual muscle forces and subsequent spine forces and stability that result from biomechanical models incorporating physiological cross-sectional area data obtained in the absence of sarcomere length measurements. Future work is needed to measure the dynamic range of sarcomere lengths of all spinal muscles to ensure correct inputs to biomechanical models.
    Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H Journal of Engineering in Medicine 05/2012; 226(5):384-8. · 1.42 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3 Citations
5.77 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012–2013
    • University of Guelph
      • Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences (HHNS)
      Guelph, Ontario, Canada