Computer Spinal Analysis

A Detailed Computer Analysis of Your Spine

At the Practice we have the ability to perform comprehensive computer analysis and investigations of your spine. This computer analysis is called a Surface Electromyagraphic Study or SEMG.

In plain english this means we are able to measure the nerve signal as it comes out of your spine and enters the muscles of your back. So essentially we are measuring the motor function of your spine – down to a microvault accuracy.

All patients seeing Dr. Hooper at the Montrose practice would typically receive a computer analysis of their spine (known as a SEMG). This state of the art technology will objectively help us:

  • Detect areas of nerve disturbance
  • Detect areas of muscle imbalance
  • Detect areas of postural disturbance or imbalance
  • Detect spinal problems in children and adolescents
  • Document and monitor your results
  • Deliver the appropriate Chiropractic Care; not too much and not too little!


Surface Electromyography – SEMG

When muscles contract they give off an electrical signal. The more they contract the higher the signal. Surface EMG measures that signal. Any changes in muscle tone (either weakness or spasm) can be measured on our equipment. The SEMG locates these areas by detecting changes in muscle activity, as small as a millionth of a volt.

Nerves control the muscles of the spine. The SEMG measures how well the motor nerves are working by reading the amount of current found in the muscles. Subluxations (misalignments) disturb the function of the nerves causing an abnormal amount of muscle activity, muscle tightness or even muscle spasm.

Different colours show the amount of muscle activity on the scan. It is very easy to understand and correlate it to problem areas within the spine, or areas that still need more work.

The results are shown as bars on a print out (see the sample below):

  • White bars show normal nerve system and normal muscle function, within normal limits
  • Green Bars show mild muscle spasm
  • Blue Bars show moderate muscle spasm
  • Red Bars show severe muscle spasm; three standard deviations above normal.
  • Black Bars show extreme muscle spasm
  • Yellow Bars show areas that have “shut down”, or become so damaged that the muscle is hardly working


A patient prior to beginning care with large red bars showing mulitple areas of problems.

The same patient at the end of their treatment program with numerous white bars indicating good spinal function.


Muscle Balance or Symmetry

Muscle balance is extremely important because the vertebrae in the spine depend on the muscles to move properly. If one or more vertebrae do not move properly this will disturb the nerve function of the spine in that area. This disturbance creates further muscle imbalances.

Any abnormal muscle pattern or “asymmetry pattern” reveals an increased amount of tension or pull on one side compared to the other. This “tug of war” within the muscles must be removed to ensure good spinal function.

Relapses are inevitable if asymmetry patterns are left within the spine.