Detection of muscle fatigue caused by repeated posterior tongue lift movement from neck surface EMG: a pilot study

Hiroshi Furutera, Shigehisa Kawakami, Naoki Kodama, Yosuke Manda, Keisuke Kitagawa, Ryuichi Nakahara, Shogo Minagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Fatigue is an important factor for muscle strengthening in rehabilitation medicine. Frequency analysis has been regarded as the gold standard for muscle fatigue assessment in surface electromyography (EMG). However, there are no experiments quantifying fatigue with grouped discharge (GD), which is one of the historical phenomena observed in patients having fatigue, by using high sampling rate recording of EMG. Objective: To investigate the effect of fatigue, which is induced by repeated posterior tongue lift movement (TLM), on the occurrence of GD peaks, thus, to provide possible basis as a parameter for future fatigue evaluation. Methods: Nineteen healthy adults (9 men and 10 women) participated in this study. The muscle fatigue protocol consisted of repetitive posterior TLM and maximum voluntary contractions (MVC). Bilateral N-EMG (Neck surface EMG for measuring the muscle activity of the posterior tongue) was recorded. Results: Subjective tongue fatigue at the end of the protocol was significantly higher than at beginning throughout the muscle fatigue protocol (p <.01). The frequency of occurrence of GD peaks was 0.9 ± 1.2 (per second) at the baseline in 33 of 38 subject sides, and significantly increased depending on fatigue progression (p <.01). Conclusion: It was shown that fatigue due to repetitive posterior tongue lifting resulted in significant increase in the frequency of occurrence of GD peaks. Especially, the nature of GD, showing very few occurrences at non-fatigue condition, might work as an advantageous property for its use in future absolute evaluation of fatigue phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1346
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of oral rehabilitation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • electromyography
  • fatigue
  • grouped discharge
  • mean power frequency
  • rehabilitation
  • tongue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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