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  • 1
    Abstract: In classic concentric/eccentric exercise, the same absolute load is applied in concentric and eccentric actions, which infers a smaller relative eccentric load. We compared the effects of 6 weeks of classic concentric/eccentric quadriceps strength training (CON/ECC, 11 subjects) to eccentric overload training (CON/ECC+, 14 subjects) in athletes accustomed to regular strength training. The parameters determined included functional tests, quadriceps and fibre cross-sectional area (CSA), fibre type distribution by ATPase staining, localisation of myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform mRNAs by situ hybridization and the steady-state levels of 48 marker mRNAs (RT-PCR) in vastus lateralis biopsies taken before and after training. Both training forms had anabolic effects with significant increases in quadriceps CSA, maximal strength, ribosomal RNA content and the levels of mRNAs involved in growth and regeneration. Only the CON/ECC+ training led to significantly increased height in a squat jump test. This was accompanied by significant increases in IIX fibre CSA, in the percentage of type IIA fibres expressing MHC IIx mRNA, in the level of mRNAs preferentially expressed in fast, glycolytic fibres, and in post-exercise capillary lactate. The enhanced eccentric load apparently led to a subtly faster gene expression pattern and induced a shift towards a faster muscle phenotype plus associated adaptations that make a muscle better suited for fast, explosive movements
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19937450
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Fatigue ; Skeletal muscle ; Calcium ; Sarcoplasmic reticulum
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Repeated activation of skeletal muscle causes fatigue, which involves a reduced ability to produce force and slowed contraction regarding both the speed of shortening and relaxation. One important component in skeletal muscle fatigue is a reduced sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release. In the present review we will describe different types of fatigue-induced inhibition of SR Ca2+ release. We will focus on a type of long-lasting failure of SR Ca2+ release which is called low-frequency fatigue, because this type of fatigue may be involved in the muscle dysfunction and chronic pain experienced by computer workers. Paradoxically it appears that the Ca2+ released from the SR, which is required for contraction, may actually be responsible for the failure of SR Ca2+ release during low-frequency fatigue. We will also discuss the relationship between gross morphological changes in muscle fibres and long-lasting failure of SR Ca2+ release. Finally, a model linking muscle cell dysfunction and muscle pain is proposed.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Electrical stimulation ; Ca2+ homeostasis ; Calpain ; Lactate dehydrogenase release
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Electrical stimulation has been shown to produce a marked increase in Ca2+ influx and Ca2+ content in rat skeletal muscle. Long-term low-frequency stimulation (1 Hz, 240 min) increased 45Ca uptake by 30% and 154% in soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles, respectively. Studies using Ca2+-fluorescent dyes have shown that intracellular concentrations of free Ca2+ are increased up to threefold during long-term low-frequency stimulation, suggesting that muscle cells have difficulties in handling the Ca2+ taken up during stimulation. Furthermore, long-term low-frequency stimulation induces leakage of the intracellular enzyme lactate dehydrogenase from the muscles. This leakage may reflect degradation of membrane proteins by the Ca2+-activated neutral protease calpain. This, in turn, leads to further influx of Ca2+ and further acceleration of protein breakdown. Membrane leakages are likely to result in sensations of pain in the damaged muscle. It is suggested that Ca2+ plays a central role in the development of muscle fibre injury during prolonged muscle activity of workers using a computer mouse.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Motor control ; Electromyography ; Voluntary prolonged contraction ; Fatigue ; Shoulder
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The purpose of the present study was to investigate motor unit (MU) recruitment and firing rate, and the MU action potential (MUAP) characteristics of the human supraspinatus muscle during prolonged static contraction and subsequent recovery. Eight female subjects sustained a 30° shoulder abduction, requiring 11–12% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), for 30 min. At 10 and 30 min into the recovery period, the shoulder abduction was repeated for 1 min. The rating of perceived exertion for the shoulder region increased to “close to exhaustion” during the prolonged contraction, and the surface electromyography (EMG) recorded from the deltoid and trapezius muscles showed signs of local muscle fatigue. From the supraspinatus muscle, a total of 23,830 MU firings from 265 MUs were identified using needle electrodes. Of the identified MUs, 95% were continuously active during the 8-s recordings, indicating a low degree of MU rotation. The mean (range) MU firing rate was 11.2 (5.7–14.5) Hz, indicating the relative force contribution of individual MUs to be larger than the overall mean shoulder muscle load. The average MU firing rate remained stable throughout the prolonged abduction, although firing rate variability increased in response to fatigue. The average concentric MUAP amplitude increased by 38% from the beginning (0–6 min) to the end (24–29 min) of the contraction period, indicating recruitment of larger MUs in response to fatigue. In contrast, after 10 min of recovery the average MU amplitude was smaller than seen initially in the prolonged contraction, but not different after 30 min, while the MU firing rate was higher during both tests. In conclusion, MU recruitment plays a significant role during fatigue, whereas rate coding has a major priority during recovery. Furthermore, a low degree of MU rotation in combination with a high relative load at the MU level may imply a risk of overloading certain MUs during prolonged contractions.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Experimental muscle pain ; Low force ; Motor units ; Wrist extension
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In the present study we compared motor unit (MU) activity in a painful extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) muscle to that of a pain-free control. According to the pain adaptation model the activity of the painful ECU muscle may be inhibited and its antagonist activity increased during wrist extension performed as a pre-defined low-force ramp. The pre-defined low force may then be maintained by increased activity in the pain-free synergist muscles such as the extensor carpi radialis (ECR) muscle. Nine females (31–47 years old) participated in the study. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of the wrist extensors was performed. A catheter was inserted into the ECU muscle to allow the injection of hypertonic saline to evoke muscle pain, and a concentric needle was inserted for the recording of MU activity. Surface electromyograms were recorded from a synergist and an antagonist (ECR and flexor carpi radialis) to the painful ECU muscle. A force ramp of isometric wrist extensions up to 10% MVC, with a force increase of 1% MVC · s−1, were performed followed by 60 s of sustained contraction at 10% MVC. The number of MUs recruited was almost identical for baseline and with pain, and no effect of experimental muscle pain was found on the properties of the MUs (amplitude, area) or their firing characteristics (mean firing rate, firing variability) during low-force ramp contraction. During the sustained 10% MVC, no effect of pain was found for concentric or surface EMG of the forearm muscles. At low force levels no pain-induced modulations were found in MU activity, when the mechanical condition was similar to that of a control situation.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Electromyography ; Automated decomposition EMG ; Musculoskeletal disorders ; Motor unit activity ; Trapezius muscle
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The Cinderella hypothesis postulates the continuous activity of specific motor units during low-level muscle contraction and contradicts the concept of motor-unit substitution. Constant trapezius muscle activity has been reported in typical visual-display-unit-related tasks. If it can be shown that constant muscle activity can be caused by the continuous firing of single motor units, this could explain the frequent complaints of muscular neck pain reported by computer users. The present study was undertaken to investigate motor-unit activity in the trapezius muscle during resting with closed eyes, while inputting three-digit numbers with auditory presentation at a rate of 0.5 Hz, and while tapping on a key with the right index finger at a rate of 5 Hz. Electrodes with four fine wires were inserted into the right upper trapezius muscle of six healthy subjects, and three-channel intramuscular electromyography was recorded. The decomposition programme MAPQuest, developed to analyse short-term one-channel signals, was complemented with MAPView, a programme that merges the short-term results of 10 s to a 3-min analysis. The results showed that activity in the trapezius muscle was induced in one subject while resting, in two subjects while inputting data, and in five subjects while finger tapping. Long-lasting single motor-unit firing was observed in two subjects while inputting data and in one subject while finger tapping. Whilst our findings may support the Cinderella hypothesis, the measurement periods are too short to confirm it fully, and for further discussion it is necessary to record and analyse for longer periods.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Psychophysiological stress ; Surface electromyography ; Musculoskeletal disorders ; Psychosocial factors ; Women
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In order to understand the high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders associated with stressful work, it is important to explore the relationship between muscle activity and psychophysiological stress responses. The present real-life study examines surface trapezius electromyographic (sEMG) activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of urinary catecholamines and salivary cortisol among 31 female employees working at supermarkets, where the prevalence of neck and shoulder disorders is high (60–70%). As expected, the results show that psychophysiological arousal was high during work. Significant correlations were found between self-reports indicating negative stress (stressed, exhausted, tense) and sEMG activity during work. No significant correlations were found between self-reports of positive reactions (stimulated, concentrated, happy) and sEMG activity. No associations were found between sEMG activity and pain or between negative stress ratings and pain. Objectively measured workload and physiological stress responses did not correlate significantly with sEMG activity. Thus, our data indicate that perceived negative stress may have a specific influence on muscle activity, which may be of importance for musculoskeletal disorders in jobs with low-to-moderate physical load and negative psychosocial factors.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Intramuscular pressure ; Rotator cuff ; Working postures ; Shoulder tendinitis
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In work engaging the upper extremities, the musculoskeletal system of the shoulder is sometimes exposed to prolonged excessive load, leading to musculoskeletal disorders of the shoulder. One way of reducing work-related shoulder disorders is to establish guidelines for working postures. The purpose of this study was to identify harmful working positions, by performing a comprehensive survey of the intramuscular pressure (IMP) in the infra- and supraspinatus muscles in relation to different arm positions and external loads. Ten healthy males participated, and the IMP in the infra- and supraspinatus muscles was studied in a total of 112 combinations of arm positions and hand loads at levels that occur frequently in industrial work. High-precision spatial recordings were accomplished with a three-dimesional motion-analysis system, and the IMP was measured using the microcapillary infusion technique. The mean IMP of the infraspinatus muscle as well as that of the supraspinatus muscle increased continuously from a resting pressure at 0° of upper arm elevation to a maximal pressure at 90° of upper arm elevation, for all elevation planes. The mean IMP of the supraspinatus muscle appeared to be more dependent upon the elevation plane and less dependent upon the hand load, compared to the infraspinatus muscle. Even during only moderate arm elevation, the mean IMP of the infra- and supraspinatus muscles, presented here in polar diagrams, had already exceeded the levels of reduced recovery from local muscle fatigue and blood flow impairment. The elevation angle and the hand load primarily influence the development of IMP in the infra- and supraspinatus muscles.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Motor unit ; Decomposition ; Recruitment ; De-recruitment ; Shoulder
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Due to inter-operator variability, two operators were used to assess the consistency of motor unit (MU) identification during ramp contractions, by the comparison of semi-automatic decompositions of the same recordings. Static shoulder abduction was performed against a force transducer in a position with the upper arms vertical and elbows flexed to 90°. The subjects followed an 8-s force trajectory: 30% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC, 2 s), a reduction in force from 30% to 0% MVC (2 s), 0% MVC (1 s), an increase in force from 0 to 30% MVC (2 s), and 30% MVC (1 s). Muscle activity was recorded from the supraspinatus muscle with a quadripolar needle. From six recordings of 8 s duration, a total of 2527 MU firings were identified by both operators, and 93% of these were identified identically into 31 MUs. Both operators identified 8 of these MUs as continuously firing, 5 as only being active either before or after the 1 s at 0% MVC, and 18 as being de-recruited during force decreases and recruited during force increases. Both operators agreed that 16 of these 18 MUs were de-recruited at a higher force level than that at which they were recruited, which may be due to the electromechanical delay. The coefficient of variation for double determination of the results obtained by operators A and B was 8.5% for the number of MU firings, 4.5% for the MU mean firing rate, and 8.4% for the MU action potential (MUAP) amplitude. Therefore, the operator interactive decomposition method was considered to be valid for studying recruitment and de-recruitment as well as firing rate and MUAP amplitude during static, force-varying ramp contractions.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1439-6327
    Keywords: Key words Blood lactate ; Draft swimming ; Drag ; Oxygen consumption ; Triathlon
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The metabolic and drag responses, together with the distance between the draftee and the leader, were studied in six female triathletes swimming behind a lead swimmer who used either a two- or a six-beat kick, at an average velocity of 1.24 m · s−1 (range 1.20–1.31). Drag was measured by passive towing. Oxygen consumption [49.1 (3.8) versus 50.4 (5.0) ml · min−1 · kg−1], blood lactate [6.7 (2.3) versus 6.8 (1.9) mM], heart rate [172 (13.6) versus 173.5 (12.5) beats · min−1), rating of perceived exertion [13.7 (1.2) versus 13.5 (1.0)], stroke rate [38.3 (1.5) versus 39.5 (1.4) cycle · min−1], stroke length [1.95 (0.09) versus 1.89 (0.15) m · cycle−1] were not statistically different between the two-beat and the six-beat kick situations. The energy cost of swimming per unit of distance [0.65 (0.06) versus 0.67 (0.08) ml O2 · m−1] and the passive drag were similar for both kicks. The distance separating the draftee from the lead swimmer was between 14 cm and 85 cm and was inversely correlated with passive drag: r=−0.82,P 〈 0.05, for the two-beat kick and r=−0.82, P 〈  0.05, for the six-beat kick. The higher the passive drag, the closer the hand of the draftee to the feet of the lead swimmer. It was of no more benefit to triathletes to draft behind a two-beat kick swimmer than behind a six-beat kick swimmer.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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