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Evaluation of the electrical activity of flexors and extensors wrist during functional tasks in subjects with early degrees of hand osteoarthritis

Grant number: 16/24311-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2017
Effective date (End): December 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Paula Regina Mendes da Silva Serrão
Grantee:André Luis Simões Zacharias
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The extensor muscles of the wrist promote the stability of the hand through a behavior that opposes the action of the flexor muscles of the finger, since without the extensors acting a simultaneous flexion of the pulse can occur. Thus, during the performance of the functional tasks, their performance allows an optimum length-tension relation of the flexor muscles of the fingers, which would increase the strength levels of this musculature. Patients with osteoarthritis of the hand (OAM) could demonstrate changes in functional muscle patterns when compared to healthy people. Despite this information, there are few studies that propose to discuss and relate the electrical activity of the forearm muscles in individuals with OAM, especially in the early stages of the disease. The objective of this study will be to compare the magnitude of the activation of the extensor and flexor muscles of the wrist between subjects with OAM in the early degrees and healthy subjects during the performance of the functional activities. In addition, the other objective will be to correlate the level of electrical activity of the flexors and extensors of the wrist with the self-reported function. Thirty subjects will be divided into two groups: GOAM (n = 15, composed of subjects with hand OA, degrees II or III, according to Kellgren and Lawrece (1957)) and CG (n = 15, consisting of healthy individuals). The AUSCAN questionnaire will be used to assess pain, function and stiffness. Muscle activation during manual activities will be evaluated by surface electromyography in the carpal flexor ulnaris muscle, superficial flexor digitorum muscle and long and short carpal radial extensor muscle. According to the normality of the data, for the comparisons, Student's t-test for independent samples (parametric distribution) or Mann Whitney test (non parametric distribution) will be used. The relationships between the variables will be assessed by the Pearson or Spearman correlation, according to the normality of the data. A significance level of 5% (± = 0.05) will be adopted for all analyzes. Key words: hand osteoarthritis, muscle activation, wrist extensor muscles, physiotherapy (AU)