Surface electromyography (sEMG) biofeedback posture training improves the physical and mental health of early adolescents with mild scoliosis: A qualitative study

Mei Chun Cheung, Joanne Yip, Derry Law, Jason Pui Yin Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Asymmetry in paraspinal muscle activities is observed in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and may be of value for predicting curve progression. We have reported the effects of the surface electromyography biofeedback posture training program in improving the symmetry of paraspinal muscle activities and reducing the curve progression of early adolescents with mild scoliosis. This study further explored their subjective experience of the training program on posture correction and health-related quality of life. Methods: Using purposive sampling, 13 early adolescents aged between 11 and 13 years with mild scoliosis participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews after completing 30 sessions of training. The data were recorded, transcribed, and coded using thematic analysis with NVivo 10. Significant statements and phrases were categorized into themes and subthemes. Results: As assessed by X-ray, five early adolescents showed at least a 5° Cobb angle reduction in spinal curvature, while eight showed no significant curve progression (a Cobb angle change under 5°). Several subthemes related to the benefits of the training program on the health-related quality of life were generated, namely (a) posture correction, (b) improvement in body appearance, (c) restoration of muscle relaxation, (d) reduction in bodily pain and fatigue, (e) enhancement of self-confidence/self-image, and (f) improvement in social functioning. Conclusions: Given its positive effects, the sEMG biofeedback posture training program has the potential to be an alternative early intervention for early adolescents with mild scoliosis. Further empirical studies need to be carried out to substantiate its effectiveness and evaluate the sustainability of its benefits over time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Health
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • mild scoliosis
  • surface electromyography biofeedback posture training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management

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