Electromyographic activity of the quadriceps components during the final degrees of knee extension.J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2011; 24(4):215-23.JB
An imbalance in the recruitment patterns of the quadriceps muscle has been implicated in patellofemoral knee pain; however ambiguity remains in the normal recruitment patterns of this muscle. We investigated the activity of the quadriceps muscle during the final degrees of knee extension, specifically in the medial and lateral components. Sixteen healthy subjects (age; 22.5 (± 3.4) years, body mass; 67.5 (± 12.1) kg and height; 173.9 (± 10.4) cm) participated.Torque and electromyographic (EMG) activity of the quadriceps muscle were measured during isokinetic and isometric knee extensions. Torque and EMG activity reduced in all component muscles during the final degrees of isokinetic extension, but this did not occur during isometric contractions at similar angles. Normalised activity of rectus femoris (RF) was greater than that of vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) during the final degrees of isokinetic knee extension at 30°/sec; there were no differences between any component muscles at the higher velocities. VMO:VL and vastus medialis longus (VML):VL ratios were unchanged during knee extensions, except that VML:VL ratio increased significantly during the final degrees of extension at 30°/sec. Future work should compare these results with people with anterior knee pain, and explore this further during activities of daily living.