Lower Back Injury Prevention: EMG behavior of the erector spinae muscle during fatigue

Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Bethany Luke




Biomedical Engineering

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-27-2023


Lower back pain is a condition that affects a large subset of people in the workforce, and specialists are constantly investigating better ways to diagnose and treat lower back pain. In efforts to combat lower back pain and subsequent lower back injuries, we will assess if EMG signals possess muscle fatigue indicators that can provide early recognition of potential muscle overexertion in the erector spinae. In our study, electromyographic (EMG) signals will be captured via Delsys EMGworks surface electrodes and the signals will be processed with iWorx Teaching Assistant (TA) to detect changes in the erector spinae. Each subject will perform the deadlift exercise until the subject verbalizes feelings of muscle fatigue. The EMG signals from the subject’s erector spinae will be monitored before and throughout activity. The EMG signals will be band-pass filtered, then the frequencies demonstrated throughout the deadlift activity will be compared across all subjects to determine if a muscle fatigue indicator is demonstrated in the EMG signals.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Janaye Thomas is senior Biomedical Engineering major at Valparaiso University, with a minor in Spanish. She holds the secretary position for the Society of Hispanic Professionals in Engineering (SHPE). She is a collegiate member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and she is also a Hesse Scholar (STEM) tutor. She is involved in research regarding biomedical and biomechanical analysis of injury prevention, athletic performance enhancement, and human machine interfaces.

Sara Santana de Amorim Brito is a second year Biomedical Engineering student at Valparaiso University. She holds the Public Relations position for the Society of Hispanic Professionals in Engineering (SHPE) and She is a Hesse Scholar for the College of Engineering. She is involved in undergraduate biomechanics research in injury prevention and athletic performance enhancement.

Isoken Ogli is a fourth year Biomedical Engineering and Math student at Valparaiso University. She is a member of Christ College and is from Abuja, Nigeria. She holds the position of Vice President for the University’s chapter for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). She is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership and Honors Society (ODK) and the African Students Association (ASA). She is a researcher for the Biomechanical research occurring on the campus. Her research interests include bionics, predictive injury modeling and sustainable energy.

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