Changes in the Viscoelastic Properties of the Vastus Lateralis Muscle With Fatigue.
ABSTRACT: We investigated the in vivo effects of voluntary fatiguing isometric contractions of the knee extensor muscles on the viscoelastic properties of the vastus lateralis (VL). Twelve young males (29.0 ± 4.5 years) performed an intermittent voluntary fatigue protocol consisting of 6 sets × 10 repetitions of 5-s voluntary maximal isometric contractions with 5-s passive recovery periods between repetitions. Voluntary and evoked torque were assessed before, immediately after, and 20 min after exercise. The shear modulus (?) of the VL muscle was estimated at rest and during a ramped isometric contraction using a conventional elastography technique. An index of active muscle stiffness was then calculated (slope from the relationship between shear modulus and absolute torque). Resting muscle viscosity (?) was quantified using a shear-wave spectroscopy sequence to measure the shear-wave dispersion. Voluntary and evoked torque decreased by ?37% (P < 0.01) immediately after exercise. The resting VL ? was lower at the end of the fatigue protocol (?57.9 ± 5.4%, P < 0.001), whereas the resting VL ? increased (179.0 ± 123%, P < 0.01). The active muscle stiffness index also decreased with fatigue (P < 0.05). By 20 min post-fatigue, there were no significant differences from the pre-exercise values for VL ? and the active muscle stiffness index, contrary to the resting VL ?. We show that the VL ? is greatly reduced and ? greatly enhanced by fatigue, reflecting a more compliant and viscous muscle. The quantification of both shear ? and ? moduli in vivo may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanical behavior of muscles during fatigue in sports medicine, as well as in clinical situations.
Project description:Although high-velocity contractions elicit greater muscle fatigue in older than young adults, the cause of this difference is unclear. We examined the potential roles of resting muscle architecture and baseline contractile properties, as well as changes in voluntary activation and low-frequency fatigue in response to high-velocity knee extensor work. Vastus lateralis muscle architecture was determined in quiescent muscle by ultrasonography in 8 young (23.4±1.8 yrs) and 8 older women (69.6±1.1). Maximal voluntary dynamic (MVDC) and isometric (MVIC), and stimulated (80Hz and 10Hz, 500ms) isometric contractions were performed before and immediately after 120 MVDCs (240°.s-1, one every 2s). Architecture variables did not differ between groups (p?0.209), but the half-time of torque relaxation (T1/2) was longer in older than young women at baseline (151.9±6.0 vs. 118.8±4.4 ms, respectively, p = 0.001). Older women fatigued more than young (to 33.6±4.7% vs. 55.2±4.2% initial torque, respectively; p = 0.004), with no evidence of voluntary activation failure (?MVIC:80Hz torque) in either group (p?0.317). Low-frequency fatigue (?10:80Hz torque) occurred in both groups (p<0.001), as did slowing of T1/2 (p = 0.001), with no differences between groups. Baseline T1/2 was inversely associated with fatigue in older (r2 = 0.584, p = 0.045), but not young women (r2 = 0.147, p = 0.348). These results indicate that differences in muscle architecture, voluntary activation, and low-frequency fatigue do not explain the greater fatigue of older compared with young women during high-velocity contractions. The inverse association between baseline T1/2 and fatigue in older women suggests that factors related to slower muscle contractile properties may be protective against fatigue during fast, repetitive contractions in aging.
Project description:Sex differences in motor performance may arise depending on the mode of contraction being performed. In particular, contractions that are held for long durations, rather than contractions that are interspersed with rest periods, may induce greater levels of fatigue in men compared to women. The purpose of this study was to examine fatigue responses in a cohort of healthy men (n = 7, age [mean] = 21.6 ± [SD] 1.1 year) and women (n = 7, age: 22.0 ± 2.0 year) during sustained isometric and intermittent isometric contractions. Two contraction protocols were matched for intensity (20% MVC) and total contraction time (600-s). Biceps brachii EMG and elbow flexion torque steadiness were examined throughout each protocol, and motor nerve stimulation was used to quantify central and peripheral fatigue. Overall, there were few sex-related differences in the fatigue responses during intermittent contractions. However, men exhibited progressively lower maximal torque generation (39% versus 27% decrease), progressively greater muscle activity (220% versus 144% increase), progressively greater declines in elbow flexion steadiness (354% versus 285% decrease), and progressively greater self-perception of fatigue (Borg scale: 8.8 ± 1.2 versus 6.3 ± 1.1) throughout the sustained contractions. The mechanism underlying fatigue responses had a muscle component, as voluntary activation of the biceps brachii did not differ between sexes, but the amplitude of resting twitches decreased throughout the sustained contractions (m: 32%, w: 10% decrease). As generating large sustained forces causes a progressive increase in intramuscular pressure and mechanical occlusion-which has the effect of enhancing metabolite accumulation and peripheral fatigue-it is likely that the greater maximal strength of men contributed to their exacerbated levels of fatigue.
Project description:Mobility limitation is highly prevalent among older adults and is central to the loss of functional independence. Dynamic isokinetic muscle fatigue testing may reveal increased vulnerability to disability and mortality beyond strength testing.We studied community-dwelling older adults enrolled in the Health Aging and Body Composition study (age range: 71-82) free of mobility disability and who underwent isokinetic muscle fatigue testing in 1999-2000 (n = 1,963). Isokinetic quadriceps work and fatigue index was determined over 30 repetitions and compared with isometric quadriceps maximum torque. Work was normalized to leg lean mass accounting for gender-specific differences (specific work). The primary outcome was incident persistent severe lower extremity limitation (PSLL), defined as two consecutive reports of either having a lot of difficulty or being unable to walk 1/4 mile or climb 10 steps without resting. The secondary outcome was all-cause mortality.There were 608 (31%) occurrences of incident PSLL and 488 (25%) deaths during median follow-up of 9.3 years. After adjustment, lower isokinetic work was associated with significantly greater risks of PSLL and mortality across the full measured range. Hazard ratios per standard deviation lower specific isokinetic work were 1.22 (95% CI 1.12, 1.33) for PSLL and 1.21 (95% CI 1.13, 1.30) for mortality, respectively. Lower isometric strength was associated with PSLL, but not mortality. Fatigue index was not associated with PSLL or mortality.Muscle endurance, estimated by isokinetic work, is an indicator of muscle health associated with mobility limitation and mortality providing important insight beyond strength testing.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between fatigue-induced reductions in isometric torque and isotonic power and to quantify the extent to which the decreases in angular velocity and dynamic torque can explain the power loss immediately following an isotonic fatiguing task and throughout recovery in seven young males and six young females. All measurements were performed with both legs. For dorsiflexion, fatigue-related time-course changes in isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) torque, angular velocity, dynamic torque, and power production following repeated maximal isotonic contractions (load: 20% MVC) were investigated before, immediately after, and 1, 2, 5 and 10 min after a fatiguing task. There were no relationships between the fatigue-related reductions in isometric MVC torque and peak power at any timepoint, suggesting that fatigue-induced reductions in isometric MVC torque does not entirely reflect fatigue-induced changes in dynamic performance. The relative contribution of fatigue-related reduction in dynamic torque on power loss was greater immediately following the task, and lower throughout recovery than the corresponding decrease in angular velocity. Thus, power loss immediately following the task was more strongly related to the decline in dynamic torque; however, this relationship shifted throughout recovery to a greater dependence on slowing of angular velocity for power loss.
Project description:This study aimed to test whether adding a rest recovery parameter, r, to the analytical three-compartment controller (3CC) fatigue model (Xia and Frey Law, 2008) will improve fatigue estimates during intermittent contractions. The 3CC muscle fatigue model uses differential equations to predict the flow of muscle between three muscle states: Resting (MR), Active (MA), and Fatigued (MF). This model uses a feedback controller to match the active state to target loads and two joint-specific parameters: F, fatigue rate controlling flow from active to fatigued compartments) and R, the recovery rate controlling flow from the fatigued to the resting compartments. This model does well to predict intensity-endurance time curves for sustained isometric tasks. However, previous studies find when rest intervals are present that the model over predicts fatigue. Intermittent rest periods would allow for the occurrence of subsequent reactive vasodilation and post-contraction hyperemia. We hypothesize a modified 3CC-r fatigue model will improve predictions of force decay during intermittent contractions with the addition of a rest recovery parameter, r, to augment recovery during rest intervals, representing muscle re-perfusion. A meta-analysis compiling intermittent fatigue data from 63 publications reporting decline in peak torque (% torque decline) were used for comparison. The original model over-predicted fatigue development from 19 to 29% torque decline; the addition of a rest multiplier significantly improved fatigue estimates to 6-10% torque decline. We conclude the addition of a rest multiplier to the three-compartment controller fatigue model provides a physiologically consistent modification for tasks involving rest intervals, resulting in improved estimates of muscle fatigue.
Project description:Torque depression (TD) is the reduction in steady-state isometric torque following active muscle shortening when compared with a purely isometric contraction at the same muscle length and level of activation. The purpose of the present study was to assess spinal and supraspinal excitability in the TD state during submaximal contractions of the dorsiflexors. Eleven young (24?±?2?yrs) males performed 16 contractions at a constant level of electromyographic activity (40% of maximum). Half of the contractions were purely isometric (8?s at an ankle angle of 100°), whereas the other half induced TD (2?s isometric at 140°, a 1?s shortening phase at 40°?s-1 and 5?s at 100°). Motor evoked potentials (MEPs), cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials (CMEPs) and compound muscle action potentials (M-waves) were recorded from tibialis anterior during the TD steady-state and purely isometric contractions. When compared with values in the purely isometric condition, following active shortening, there was a 13% decrease in torque (p?<?0.05), with a 10% increase in normalized CMEP amplitude (CMEP/Mmax) (p?<?0.05) and no change in normalized MEP amplitude (MEP/CMEP) in the TD state (p?>?0.05). These findings indicate that during voluntary contractions in the TD state, the history-dependent properties of muscle can increase spinal excitability and influence voluntary control of submaximal torque production.
Project description:The reduction in steady-state isometric torque following a shortening muscle action when compared to a purely isometric contraction at the same muscle length and level of activation is termed torque depression (TD). The purpose of this study was to investigate spinal and supraspinal neural responses during the TD state of a maximal voluntary activation of the ankle dorsiflexors. Thirteen subjects (10 male) were recruited for the study. To explore alterations in corticospinal excitability during voluntary muscle activation in the TD state, motor evoked potentials (MEPs), cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials (CMEPs), and maximal compound muscle action potentials (Mmax) were elicited during the isometric steady-state following active shortening (i.e., TD) and the purely isometric condition. A 15% reduction in steady-state isometric torque (P < 0.05) was observed following isokinetic shortening at 40°/sec. Although mean evoked responses (MEP and CMEP) were not different in the TD state as compared with purely isometric state, the changes in evoked responses were inversely related to one another depending on the level of TD These findings indicate that supraspinal and spinal responses are interrelated in the TD state. Furthermore, antagonist muscle coactivation during the isometric reference contraction was positively related to TD These findings suggest the possibility of a relationship between the central nervous system and TD in humans. Further work should be performed to definitively link TD to specific spinal interneurons.
Project description:The ability to voluntarily activate a muscle is commonly assessed by some variant of the twitch interpolation technique (ITT), which assumes that the stimulated force increment decreases linearly as voluntary force increases. In the present study, subjects (n = 7) with exceptional ability for maximal voluntary activation (VA) of the knee extensors were used to study the relationship between superimposed and voluntary torque. This includes very high contraction intensities (90-100%VA), which are difficult to consistently obtain in regular healthy subjects (VA of approximately 90%). Subjects were tested at 30, 60, and 90 degrees knee angles on two experimental days. At each angle, isometric knee extensions were performed with supramaximal superimposed nerve stimulation (triplet: three pulses at 300 Hz). Surface EMG signals were obtained from rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and medialis muscles. Maximal VA was similar and very high across knee angles: 97 +/- 2.3% (mean +/- SD). At high contraction intensities, the increase in voluntary torque was far greater than would be expected based on the decrement of superimposed torque. When voluntary torque increased from 79.6 +/- 6.1 to 100%MVC, superimposed torque decreased from 8.5 +/- 2.6 to 2.8 +/- 2.3% of resting triplet. Therefore, an increase in VA of 5.7% (from 91.5 +/- 2.6 to 97 +/- 2.3%) coincided with a much larger increase in voluntary torque (20.4 +/- 6.1%MVC) and EMG (33.9 +/- 6.6%max). Moreover, a conventionally assessed VA of 91.5 +/- 2.6% represented a voluntary torque of only 79.6 +/- 6.1%MVC. In conclusion, when maximal VA is calculated to be approximately 90% (as in regular healthy subjects), this probably represents a considerable overestimation of the subjects' ability to maximally drive their quadriceps muscles.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate muscle stiffness in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) using shear wave elastography (SWE) and to correlate the results with muscle strength and MRI features of myositis. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Muscle shear wave velocity (SWV) was measured in 23 active IIM patients (13 females, mean age 50.4?±?16.1 years) and 23 matched healthy controls (13 females, mean age 50.7?±?16.2 years). The investigated muscles included the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), vastus medialis (VM) vastus intermedius (VI), biceps femoris (BF), semitendinosus (ST), semimembranosus (SM) and the biceps brachii (BB) scanned during relaxed resting and passive stretching positions. Participants performed multiple tests to evaluate their muscle strength. IIM patients had a thigh MRI to assess degrees of oedema, fatty infiltration and atrophy. RESULTS:In the resting position, IIM patients had a 12.9-22.2% significantly lower SWV (p?<?0.05) for the quadriceps and hamstrings, but not BB. There was no difference during passive stretching. The SWV for VL, VI and BF showed moderate correlations with the muscle strength tests ranging from r?=?0.47 to r?=?0.70 (all p?<?0.05). Lower SWV was associated with greater MRI scores of oedema (p?=?0.001) and atrophy (p?=?0.006). However, SWV did not correlate with fatty infiltration (r?<?0.3; p?=?0.28), creatine kinase (r?=?0.28; p?=?0.19) or disease duration (r?=?0.26; p?=?0.24). CONCLUSION:Shear wave elastography may detect abnormal reduced thigh stiffness in IIM patients. SWE measurements were significantly associated with muscle weakness and MRI signs of oedema and atrophy. Future research should investigate this new technology for monitoring disease activity.
Project description:Residual torque enhancement (rTE) is a history-dependent property of muscle, which results in an increase in steady-state isometric torque production following an active lengthening contraction as compared to a purely isometric (ISO) contraction at the same muscle length and level of activation. Once thought to be only an intrinsic property of muscle, recent evidence during voluntary contractions indicates a neuromechanical coupling between motor neuron excitability and the contractile state of the muscle. However, the mechanism by which this occurs has yet to be elucidated. The purpose of this study was to investigate inhibition arising from tendon-mediated feedback (e.g., Golgi tendon organ; GTO) through tendon electrical stimulation (TStim) in the ISO and rTE states during activation-matching and torque-matching tasks. Fourteen male participants (22 ± 2 years) performed 10 activation-matching contractions at 40% of their maximum tibialis anterior electromyography amplitude (5 ISO/5 rTE) and 10 torque-matching contractions at 40% of their maximum dorsiflexion torque (5 ISO/5 rTE). During both tasks, 10 TStim were delivered during the isometric steady state of all contractions, and the resulting tendon-evoked inhibitory reflexes were averaged and analyzed. Reflex amplitude increased by ~23% in the rTE state compared to the ISO state for the activation-matching task, and no differences were detected for the torque-matching task. The current data indicate an important relationship between afferent feedback in the torque-enhanced state and voluntary control of submaximal contractions. The history-dependent properties of muscle is likely to alter motor neuron excitability through modifications in tension- or torque-mediated afferent feedback arising from the tendon.