This course fulfills two purposes: 1. to understand the basic functions of the neuromuscular system during human motion and 2. to explain how to analyze and evaluate performance during human movement. The main concepts that are covered are among others the anatomy and function of neurons, motor units, motor and sensory pathway, reflexes, motor cortex, as well as the short and long-term neuromuscular adaptations during different circumstances. Additionally, the course introduces the students to the fundamental concepts of human movement and analysis (kinematics and kinetics), and explains the interaction between the musculoskeletal and nervous system during motion. Better knowledge of this interaction may allow creating new methods to improve athletic performance, and the well-being of older people or people with acute or chronic movement deficits.
The goal of this course is to understand the way the nervous system functions and how the movement is created and controlled. Furthermore, the student will comprehend the movement analysis per se. This understanding will facilitate critical thinking and will allow the student to identify the causes that induce neuromuscular adaptations in humans under several conditions. This gives the capacity to future graduates to be inspired and be able to attempt new interventions affecting the functions of the human body.
The theoretical background is linked to practical applications presenting real-world examples from sports and human movement in general. Moreover, the evaluation methods of neuromuscular functions and movement analysis will be presented during theoretical as well as laboratory courses. Such methods are the electromyography, electrical stimulation, kinematic analysis, and kinematic analysis. Finally, the student will be able to participate in measurements hands-on, with the perspective to be influenced for future involvement in research.
After a completing the course successfully, the student will be able to:
• know the structure and function of the neuromuscular system, acknowledging its complexity.
• identify the type of neuromuscular adaptations that take place after an intervention (e.g. training, fatigue, warm-up etc.).
• recognize the special properties of the neuromuscular system at different ages (from developmental to older age).
• understand the interaction between the musculoskeletal system and the central nervous system during the execution of a movement.
• know the evaluation methods that are used for the evaluation of the neuromuscular system and the human motion.
• plan the appropriate protocol and apply these methods, e.g. to acquire, analyze, and present electromyographic data.
• read and comprehend laboratory measurements that are related to the function of the neuromuscular system and human motion.
• evaluate the quality and effectiveness of human motion and to recognize possible deficits during the execution.
• participate at undergraduate and post-graduate level in projects regarding neuromuscular adaptations.
• present methods and research finding in short oral presentations
Course Content (Syllabus)
1. Introduction to neuromuscular adaptations
2. Nerve cell, nervous system, sensory organs, motor unit.
3. Muscle cell, neuromuscular junction, muscular system, muscular architecture
4. Force evaluation - isokinetics
5. Muscle activation, electromyography, co-contraction, electromyogram recording and analysis
6. Electrical stimulation (muscle, nerve, brain)
7. Reflexes, stretch reflex
8. Basic functions: walking, balance, stretch-shortening cycle, tendon vibration
9. Acute adaptations, warm-up, fatigue, post-activation potentiation
10. Chronic adaptations, training, injury, ageing
11. Comments on tests - QA
12. Presentations and discussion Ι
13. Presentations and discussion ΙΙ
14. Introduction to motion analysis
15. Kinematic analysis
16. Kinetic (dynamic) analysis
17. Protocols and parameters used in motion analysis
18. Laboratory lesson - motion analysis of everyday movements (i.e. gait analysis) or athletic movement (i.e. vertical jump)
19. Laboratory lesson - Ultrasonography (motion analysis of the muscle)
20. Interpretation and evaluation of laboratory measurements. Methods of analyzing and evaluating the quality of human movement
21. Interaction between mechanical (musculoskeletal) and nervous system during movement execution
22. Gait analysis I
23. Gait analysis II
24. Gait disorders
25. Presentations and discussion ΙII
26. Presentations and discussion IV
neuromuscular system, electromyography, electrical stimulation, fatigue, training