View Full Version : Summary for: SEMG Electrode Placement

Virgil Stokes
02-02-1999, 09:17 AM
The original posting (Jan 23, 1999) was:

Is there any reference that shows (in detail) where
SEMG electrodes should be placed for optimal (e.g. minimum
crosstalk and maximum SNR) measurement of human muscle

-- V. Stokes

This question was somewhat ambiguous. That is, one interpretation
was -- where the electrodes should be placed
with respect to a specific muscle. The other interpretation was --
where the electrodes should be placed
for different muscles. The second interpretation was what I was
actually interested in.

These are the most relevant responses that I have received
as of today (Feb 2, 1999) with some comments added.

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Subject: Re: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 18:44:19 -0800
From: Gideon Ariel
To: Virgil Stokes

Hi Virgil:
How are you. Check with DeLuca web page. He has it all there.
The URL is: http://www.delsys.com/

My comment: This web site does contain some quite useful information on
EMG in general and has a tutorial that shows where one should place
SEMG electrodes with respect to the muscle innervation zone.

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Subject: RE: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 12:09:00 +0100
From: Wolfgang Loescher
To: "'Virgil Stokes'"

I remember a paper by a German named Zipp entitled Recommendations for
standard placement of surface electrodes; I think it appeared in European
Journal of Applied Physiol in the 70ties. I am not sure to what degree this
paper deals with corss-talk and related things, however, it clearly shows
where to place electrodes in relation to some anatomical landmarks like
bones and so on.

[This was followed by another message]

me again - I found the paper!

P. Zipp
Recommendations for the Standardization of Lead Positions in Surface
European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 1982,
if you like me to I can make you a copy, but I do need your present address.

My Comment: The paper was:

Zipp, P. (1982) Recommendations for the Standardization of Lead
Positions in Surface Electromyography. European Journal of Applied
Physiology and Occupational Physiology. v. 50, pp. 41-54.

This is a good paper for showing where one can record SEMG
signals for 16 different muscles (with 16 figures).

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Subject: Re: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 19:49:34 -0800
From: Jim Luk
To: Virgil Stokes

This reference paper may useful to you.

DeLuca, C. J. (1997). The use of surface electromyography in biomechanics.
Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 13(3), 135-163.

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Subject: Re: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 09:08:55 +0100
From: ěyvind Stavdahl
Organization: SINTEF
To: Virgil Stokes
References: 1

Though not related to _surface_ electrodes, the following book gives
quite detailed descriptions on correct placement of needle
(intramuscular) electrodes for most of the skeletal muscles. In case you
haven't seen it, you might want to have a glance at it:

Aldo O. Perotto (Editor)
Anatomical Guide for the Electromyographer;
The limbs and trunk. 3rd edition.
Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, USA
ISBN 0-398-05900-4

My Comment: This is an excellent source for those using
needle electrodes.

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Subject: Re: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 09:48:32 -0500
From: "Renee' Turner/Jennifer Bridges"
To: "Virgil Stokes"

You might try Cram & Kasman (1998) Introduction to Surface Electromyography
by Aspen Publishers. There is an electrode placement atlas included with
some nice discussion. The CDC - NIOSH publication: Selected Topics in
Surface Electromyography for Use in the Occupational Setting: Expert
Perspectives is another excellent SEMG reference (March, 1992 Pub No.

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Subject: Re: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 09:21:58 -0800 (PST)
From: chalmers@cc.wwu.edu (Gordon Chalmers)
To: Virgil Stokes

Basmajian & Deluca (1985) Muscles Alive, Williams & Wilkins, Pg 64, state:
"We suggest that the preferred location of an electrode is in the region
halfway between the center of innervation and the further tendon."

A map of motor points may be found in:
Kendall, F. P. & McCreary, E. K. (1983) Muscle Testing & Function, Williams
& Wilkins, Pg. 34.

Winter (1988) Biomechanics and motor control of human gait, University of
Waterloo Press, pages 46-54: Lists the placement of electrodes for human

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Subject: Re: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 09:22:37 GMT+0100
From: "A.L.HOF"
Organization: faculty of medical sciences (RuG)
To: virgil.stokes@neuro.ki.se

This is really a problem, information on placement of electrodes is
very scattered and incomplete in literature. The SENIAM committee is
working on it, but the report is not yet finished. address:
The general advice is:
- electrodes 2-2.5 cm apart (less for smaller muscles)
- electrode pair in line with muscle fibers, which is not always
- at one side of the motor point
- away from neighbouring muscles
- very roughly: on the greatest bulge of muscle mass.

This seems all very approximate, but in fact the problem is not so
severe: with some common sense and some knowledge of surface anatomy,
you can get very reasonable results.
There is and has been a lot of gossip about the disaster of
crosstalk. Believe me, with some precaution it is not that bad.
Important are preamplifiers with a high common mode (which means
short cables) and good electrodes, so you have no 50 Hz interference
and little (< 1 ÁV) noise.

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Subject: Re: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 10:04:22 +0000
From: Rolf Moe-Nilssen
To: Virgil Stokes

Jensen,C. Vasseljen,O and Westgaard,R.H.: The influence of electrode
position on bipolar surface electromyogram recordings of the upper
trapezius muscle. Eur J Appl Physiol 1993;67:266-273.

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Subject: Re: SEMG Electrode Placement
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 14:32:32 +0000
From: Gabor Barton
To: Virgil Stokes

Yves Blanc published a lot on surface EMG.
Also, Basmajian and Blumenstein: Electrode placement in EMG biofeedback,
Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1980.

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Subject: RE: SEMG placement
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 12:33:04 GMT+1200
From: "Peter Davidson, x 7455"
Organization: University of Otago
To: Virgil Stokes

Try "Introduction to surface electromyography" J. R. Cram, G. S.
Kasman , Aspen Publishers, Inc, Gaithersburg, Maryland 1998

It has an excellent source of the latest knowledge in SEMG and
describes the best electrode locations for all the muscle groups.

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Subject: SEMG Placement
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 10:53:55 -0600
From: "Bruce Etnyre, Ph.D., P.T."
To: virgil.stokes@NEURO.KI.SE

If you have not read the book "Muscles Alive" by Basmajian and De
Luca, you should read it before doing any EMG studies. They make a
good case for not placing the surface electrodes over the motor point
(as I was taught, incorrectly), but rather near the middle of the
belly of the muscle. The motor point of most muscles is
approximately one-third of the length of the muscle from its proximal
attachment. A small book called "The Extremities" by Warfel has
diagrams of all the muscles of the upper and lower extremities with
the motor points identified for each.

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Subject: SEMG Placement
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 10:41:06 -0600
From: "William M. Sloboda"
To: "Virgil Stokes"

Title: Biofeedback : principles and practice for clinicians / edited by John
V. Basmajian. (Ch. 34, I
Edition: 3rd ed.
Publisher: Baltimore : Williams & Wilkins, c1989.
Description: xiii, 396 p. ill. 26 cm.
ISBN: 0683003577

Author: Basmajian, John V. 1921-
Title: Muscles alive : their functions revealed by electromyography / John
V. Basmajian, Carlo J. De Luca.
Edition: 5th ed.
Publisher: Baltimore : Williams & Wilkins, c1985.
Description: xii, 561 p. ill. 24 cm.
ISBN: 068300414X

Also check out: http://nmrc.bu.edu/nmrc/detect/emg.htm

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Thanks to all that responded (I did not show responses that
were equivalent to those that had already been received).

- V. Stokes
************************************************** **********
V. Stokes, Assistant Professor -----> Quality Has No Fear
NMRC, Boston University of Time
44 Cummington St.
Boston, MA 02215
************************************************** **********

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