, Volume 112, Issue 10, pp 3495-3502
Date: 02 Feb 2012

The interaction between the location of lower extremity muscle fatigue and visual condition on unipedal postural stability

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of unilateral muscle fatigue induced on the hip flexors/extensors or the ankle plantar/dorsiflexors on unipedal postural stability under different visual conditions. Twenty-four healthy young women completed 2 testing sessions 1 week apart with a randomized order assigned according to the muscles tested. During each session, one set of muscle groups was fatigued using isokinetic contractions: ankle plantar/dorsi flexors or hip flexor/extensors. Postural stability was assessed during trials of unilateral stance on a force plate before and after the fatigue protocol. 10 s into the trial, subjects were asked to close their eyes. Mean velocity, the area of the 95% confidence ellipse, and standard deviation of velocity in anteroposterior and mediolateral directions of center of pressure displacements were calculated for two periods of 5 s, immediately before and 1 s after the eyes closure. The results of the repeated measures ANOVAs showed a significant fatigue-by-fatigue segment by visual condition interaction for the CoP parameters. When the vision was removed, the interaction between fatigue and fatigue segment was significant for the CoP parameters. In conclusion, fatigue in both proximal and distal musculature of the lower extremity yielded decreased postural stability during unipedal quiet standing in healthy young women. This effect was more accentuated when visual information was eliminated. Withdrawing vision following fatigue to the proximal musculature, led to a significantly greater impairment of postural stability compared to the fatigue of more distal muscles.

Communicated by Fausto Baldissera.