Selective effect of static stretching, concentric contractions, and a balance task on ankle force sense.
ABSTRACT: Proper ankle motor control is critical for balance in the human body during functional activities such as standing, walking, and running. Different exercise modalities are often performed during the same training session where earlier activities may influence later ones. The purpose of the current study was to determine the acute effects of different exercise modalities on ankle force sense. Seventeen subjects performed four different intervention protocols (static stretching, balance task, concentric contractions, and control) in random order. Each session comprised measurements before and after the intervention protocol of the force sense of the ankle plantar flexors (PF) and dorsal flexors (DF) at 10% and 30% of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC). Absolute errors (AE) were calculated separately for each force level and muscle group. An overall PF error (PF-SUM = PF at 10%MVC + PF at 30%MVC), DF error (DF-SUM = DF at 10%MVC + DF at 30%MVC) and ankle error (PF-DF-SUM = PF-SUM + DF-SUM) were also calculated. The main effect of time generally revealed that ankle force sense was significantly reduced after static stretching (PF-DF-SUM: Pre: 6.11±2.17 Nm, Post: 8.03±3.28 Nm; p < 0.05), but no significant differences were observed for the concentric contractions (PF-DF-SUM: Pre: 6.01±1.97 Nm, Post: 6.50±2.28 Nm) and the balance task (PF-DF-SUM: Pre: 5.25±1.97 Nm, Post: 5.50±1.26 Nm). The only significant interaction was observed for the PF-DF-SUM (F = 4.48, p = 0.008) due to greater error scores after stretching (+31.4%) compared to the concentric (+8.2%), balance (+4.8%), and control (-3.5%) conditions. Based on these results, static stretching should not be performed before activities that require a high ankle force sense such as balance, coordination, and precision tasks.
Project description:Background:Previous studies found levodopa could improve the activity of the ankle joints of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). But ankle joint movement is composed of four motion ranges. The specific changes of four motion ranges in PD remain unknown. Objective:The purpose of this study was to decompose the complex ankle joint movement, measure ankle joint changes before and after the acute levodopa challenge test (ALCT), and investigate the effects of these parameters on gait performance. Methods:29 PD patients and 30 healthy control subjects (HC) completed the Instrumented Stand and Walk (ISAW) test and gait parameters were collected by the JiBuEn gait analysis system. The percentage of improvement of gait data and the UPDRS III in the on-drug condition (ON) were determined with respect to the off-drug condition (OFF). Results:We observed a reduction in the heel strike angle (HS), 3-plantarflexion (3-PF) angle, and 4-dorsiflexion (4-DF) angle of ankle joints. We did not find significant difference in the toe-off angle (TO), 1-plantarflexion (1-PF) angle, and 2-dorsiflexion (2-DF) angle among three groups. Stride length improvement rate was significantly correlated with HS (r s?=?0.616, P < 0.001) and 3-PF (r s?=?0.639, P < 0.001) improvement rates. The improvement in the sum of rigidity items (UPDRS motor subsection item 22) was also correlated with HS (r s?=?0.389, P=0.037) and 3-PF (r s?=?0.373, P=0.046) improvement rates. Conclusions:Exogenous levodopa supplementation can significantly reduce the rigidity of patients with PD, improve their 3-PF and 4-DF of ankle joint kinematic parameters, and ultimately enhance their gait.
Project description:Examination of how the ankle and midtarsal joints modulate stiffness in response to increased force demand will aid understanding of overall limb function and inform the development of bio-inspired assistive and robotic devices. The purpose of this study is to identify how ankle and midtarsal joint quasi-stiffness are affected by added body mass during over-ground walking. Healthy participants walked barefoot over-ground at 1.25 m/s wearing a weighted vest with 0%, 15% and 30% additional body mass. The effect of added mass was investigated on ankle and midtarsal joint range of motion (ROM), peak moment and quasi-stiffness. Joint quasi-stiffness was broken into two phases, dorsiflexion (DF) and plantarflexion (PF), representing approximately linear regions of their moment-angle curve. Added mass significantly increased ankle joint quasi-stiffness in DF (p < 0.001) and PF (p < 0.001), as well as midtarsal joint quasi-stiffness in DF (p < 0.006) and PF (p < 0.001). Notably, the midtarsal joint quasi-stiffness during DF was ~2.5 times higher than that of the ankle joint. The increase in midtarsal quasi-stiffness when walking with added mass could not be explained by the windlass mechanism, as the ROM of the metatarsophalangeal joints was not correlated with midtarsal joint quasi-stiffness (r = -0.142, p = 0.540). The likely source for the quasi-stiffness modulation may be from active foot muscles, however, future research is needed to confirm which anatomical structures (passive or active) contribute to the overall joint quasi-stiffness across locomotor tasks.
Project description:The structure of the first toe is independent of that of the other toes, while the functional difference remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the difference in the force generation characteristics between the plantar-flexion of the first and second-fifth metatarsophalangeal joints (MTPJs) by comparing the maximal voluntary plantar-flexion torques (MVC torque) at different MTPJs and ankle positions. The MVC torques of the first and second-fifth MTPJs were measured at 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45° dorsiflexed positions of the MTPJs, and at 20° plantar-flexed, neutral, and 20° dorsiflexed positions of the ankle. Two-way repeated measures analyses of variance with Holm's multiple comparison test (MTPJ position × ankle position) were performed. When the MTPJ was dorsiflexed at 0°, 15°, and 30°, the MVC torque of the first MTPJ when the ankle was dorsiflexed at 20° was higher than that when the ankle was plantar-flexed at 20°. However, the ankle position had no significant effect on the MVC torque of the second-fifth MTPJ. Thus, the MVC torque of the first MTPJ was more affected by the ankle position than the second-fifth MTPJs.
Project description:Muscle architecture is an important component of muscle function, and recent studies have shown changes in muscle architecture with fatigue. The stretch-shortening cycle is a natural way to study human locomotion, but little is known about how muscle architecture is affected by this type of exercise. This study investigated potential changes in medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle architecture after exhaustive stretch-shortening cycle exercise. Male athletes (n = 10) performed maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) and maximal drop jump (DJ) tests before and after an exercise task consisting of 100 maximal DJs followed by successive rebound jumping to 70% of the initial maximal height. The exercise task ceased upon failure to jump to 50% of maximal height or volitional fatigue. Muscle architecture of MG was measured using ultrasonography at rest and during MVC, and performance variables were calculated via a force plate and motion analysis. After SSC exercise, MVC (-13.1%; p = 0.005; dz = 1.30), rebound jump height (-14.8%, p = 0.004; dz = 1.32), and ankle joint stiffness (-26.3%; p = 0.008; dz = 1.30) decreased. Ankle joint range of motion (+20.2%; p = 0.011; dz = 1.09) and MG muscle-tendon unit length (+12.0%; p = 0.037; dz = 0.91) during the braking phase of DJ, the immediate drop-off in impact force (termed peak force reduction) (?27.3%; p = 0.033; dz = 0.86), and lactate (+9.5 mmol/L; p < 0.001; dz = 3.58) increased. Fascicle length increased at rest (+4.9%; p = 0.013; dz = 1.16) and during MVC (+6.8%; p = 0.048; dz = 0.85). Pennation angle decreased at rest (-6.5%; p = 0.034, dz = 0.93) and during MVC (-9.8%; p = 0.012; dz = 1.35). No changes in muscle thickness were found at rest (-2.6%; p = 0.066; dz = 0.77) or during MVC (-1.6%; p = 0.204; dz = 0.49). The greater MG muscle-tendon stretch during the DJ braking phase after exercise indicates that muscle damage likely occurred. The lower peak force reduction and ankle joint stiffness, indicative of decreased active stiffness, suggests activation was likely reduced, causing fascicles to shorten less during MVC.
Project description:Behaviour of motor unit potential (MUP) velocities in relation to (low) force and duration was investigated in biceps brachii muscle using a surface electrode array. Short static tests of 3.8 s (41 subjects) and prolonged dynamic tests (prolonged tests) of 4 min (30 subjects) were performed as position tasks, applying forces up to 20% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). Four variables, derived from the inter-peak latency technique, were used to describe changes in the surface electromyography signal: the mean muscle fibre conduction velocity (CV), the proportion between slow and fast MUPs expressed as the within-subject skewness of MUP velocities, the within-subject standard deviation of MUP velocities [SD-peak velocity (PV)], and the amount of MUPs per second (peak frequency=PF). In short static tests and the initial phase of prolonged tests, larger forces induced an increase of the CV and PF, accompanied with the shift of MUP velocities towards higher values, whereas the SD-PV did not change. During the first 1.5-2 min of the prolonged lower force levels tests (unloaded, and loaded 5 and 10% MVC) the CV and SD-PV slightly decreased and the MUP velocities shifted towards lower values; then the three variables stabilized. The PF values did not change in these tests. However, during the prolonged higher force (20% MVC) test, the CV decreased and MUP velocities shifted towards lower values without stabilization, while the SD-PV broadened and the PF decreased progressively. It is argued that these combined results reflect changes in both neural regulatory strategies and muscle membrane state.
Project description:Ankle sprains are common within the general population and can result in prolonged disablement. Limited talocrural dorsiflexion range of motion (DF ROM) is a common consequence of ankle sprain. Limited talocrural DF ROM may contribute to persistent symptoms, disability, and an elevated risk for re-injury. As a result, many health care practitioners use hands-on passive procedures with the intention of improving talocrural joint DF ROM in individuals following ankle sprains. Dosage of passive hands-on procedures involves a continuum of treatment speeds. Recent evidence suggests both slow- and fast-speed treatments may be effective to address disablement following ankle sprains. However, these interventions have yet to be longitudinally compared against a placebo study condition.We developed a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to test the hypotheses that hands-on treatment procedures administered to individuals following ankle sprains during the post-acute injury period can improve short-, intermediate-, and long-term disablement, as well as reduce the risk for re-injury.This study is designed to measure the clinical effects of hands-on passive stretching treatment procedures directed to the talocrural joint that vary in treatment speed during the post-acute injury period, compared to hands-on placebo control intervention.http://www.clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00888498.
Project description:Purpose: The neuromuscular mechanisms leading to impaired motor performance in the presence of mental fatigue remain unclear. It is also unknown if mental fatigue differentially impacts motor performance in males and females. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of mental fatigue on force production and motor unit (MU) firing behavior in males and females. Methods: Nineteen participants performed 10-s isometric dorsiflexion (DF) contractions at 20 and 50% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) before, during, and after completing 22 min of the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT), to induce mental fatigue. The DF force and indwelling MU firing behavior of the tibialis anterior (TA) was measured before and immediately following the PVT and within the first and final minutes of the PVT. Results: Force steadiness and motor unit firing rate (MUFR) variability did not change during or following the PVT at either contraction intensity (p ? 0.16). Overall, females had more variability than males in MUFR during the 20% MVCs (15.98 ± 2.19 vs. 13.64 ± 2.19%, p = 0.03), though no sex differences were identified during the 50% MVCs (p = 0.20). Mean MUFR decreased following mental fatigue in both sexes in the 20% MVC condition (14.79 ± 3.20 vs. 12.92 ± 2.53 Hz, p = 0.02), but only in males during the 50% MVC condition (18.65 ± 5.21 vs. 15.03 ± 2.60 Hz, p = 0.01). Conclusions: These results suggest possible sex and contraction intensity-specific neuromuscular changes in the presence of mental fatigue.
Project description:Ultramarathon runners are exposed to a high number of impact shocks and to severe neuromuscular fatigue. Runners may manage mechanical stress and muscle fatigue by changing their running kinematics. Our purposes were to study (i) the effects of a 110-km mountain ultramarathon (MUM) on tibial shock acceleration and lower limb kinematics, and (ii) whether kinematic changes are modulated according to the severity of neuromuscular fatigue. Twenty-three runners participated in the study. Pre- and post-MUM, neuromuscular tests were performed to assess knee extensor (KE) and plantar flexor (PF) central and peripheral fatigue, and a treadmill running bouts was completed during which step frequency, peak acceleration, median frequency and impact frequency content were measured from tibial acceleration, as well as foot-to-treadmill, tibia-to-treadmill, and ankle flexion angles at initial contact, and ankle range of motion using video analysis. Large neuromuscular fatigue, including peripheral changes and deficits in voluntary activation, was observed in KE and PF. MVC decrements of ~35% for KE and of ~28% for PF were noted. Among biomechanical variables, step frequency increased by ~2.7% and the ankle range of motion decreased by ~4.1% post-MUM. Runners adopting a non rearfoot strike pre-MUM adopted a less plantarflexed foot strike pattern post-MUM while those adopting a rearfoot strike pre-MUM tended to adopt a less dorsiflexed foot strike pattern post-MUM. Positive correlations were observed between percent changes in peripheral PF fatigue and the ankle range of motion. Peripheral PF fatigue was also significantly correlated to both percent changes in step frequency and the ankle angle at contact. This study suggests that in a fatigued state, ultratrail runners use compensatory/protective adjustments leading to a flatter foot landing and this is done in a fatigue dose-dependent manner. This strategy may aim at minimizing the overall load applied to the musculoskeletal system, including impact shock and muscle stretch.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Repeated heel raises have been proposed as a method of ankle plantar-flexor strength testing that circumvents the limitations of manual muscle testing (MMT). OBJECTIVE: The study objective was to examine the relationships among ankle plantar-flexion isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), repeated single-limb heel raises (SLHRs), and MMT in people with myositis. DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study with a between-group design. The ability to complete 1 SLHR determined group assignment (SLHR group, n=24; no-SLHR group, n=19). METHODS: Forty-three participants with myositis (13 women; median age=64.9 years) participated. Outcome measures included MVC, predicted MVC, Kendall MMT, and Daniels-Worthingham MMT. RESULTS: The Kendall MMT was unable to detect significant ankle plantar-flexor weakness established by quantitative methods and was unable to discriminate between participants who could and those who could not perform the SLHR task. Ankle plantar-flexion MVC was not associated with the number of heel-raise repetitions in the SLHR group (pseudo R(2)=.13). No significant relationship was observed between MVC values and MMT grades in the SLHR and no-SLHR groups. However, a moderate relationship between MVC values and MMT grades was evident in a combined-group analysis (?=.50-.67). LIMITATIONS: The lower half of both MMT grading scales was not represented in the study despite the profound weakness of the participants. CONCLUSIONS: Both Kendall MMT and Daniels-Worthingham MMT had limited utility in the assessment of ankle plantar-flexor strength. Repeated SLHRs should not be used as a proxy measure of ankle plantar-flexion MVC in people with myositis.
Project description:The increase and decrease in steady-state isometric force following active muscle lengthening and shortening are referred to as residual force enhancement (RFE) and force depression (FD), respectively. The RFE and FD states are associated with decreased (activation reduction; AR) and increased (activation increase; AI) neuromuscular activity, respectively. Although the mechanisms have been discussed over the last 60 years, no studies have systematically investigated the modifiability of RFE and FD with training. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether RFE and FD could be modulated through eccentric and concentric biased resistance training. Fifteen healthy young adult men (age: 24?±?2 yr, weight: 77?±?8 kg, height: 178?±?5 cm) underwent 4 wk of isokinetic dorsiflexion training, in which one leg was trained eccentrically (-25°/s) and the other concentrically (+25°/s) over a 50° ankle excursion. Maximal and submaximal (40% maximum voluntary contraction) steady-state isometric torque and EMG values following active lengthening and shortening were compared to purely isometric values at the same joint angles and torque levels. Residual torque enhancement (rTE) decreased by ~36% after eccentric training ( P < 0.05) and increased by ~89% after concentric training ( P < 0.05), whereas residual torque depression (rTD), AR, AI, and optimal angles for torque production were not significantly altered by resistance training ( P ? 0.05). It appears that rTE, but not rTD, for the human ankle dorsiflexors is differentially modifiable through contraction type-dependent resistance training. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The history dependence of force production is a property of muscle unexplained by current cross bridge and sliding filament theories. Whether a muscle is actively lengthened (residual force enhancement; RFE) or shortened (force depression) to a given length, the isometric force should be equal to a purely isometric contraction-but it is not! In this study we show that eccentric training decreased RFE, whereas concentric training increased RFE and converted all nonresponders (i.e., not exhibiting RFE) into responders.