Advertisement

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 96, Issue 5, pp 593–599 | Cite as

Recovery of hand grip strength and hand steadiness after exhausting manual stretcher carriage

  • D. LeykEmail author
  • U. Rohde
  • O. Erley
  • W. Gorges
  • M. Wunderlich
  • T. Rüther
  • D. Essfeld
Original Article

Abstract

Rescue activities frequently require not only substantial and sustained hand-grip forces but also a subtle coordination of hand and finger muscles, e.g. when manipulating injection syringes after manual stretcher carriage. We investigated the recovery kinetics of manual coordination and muscle strength after exhausting stretcher carriage (4.5 km/h, load at each handle bar: 25 kg). Hand steadiness (frequency and duration of wall contacts when holding a metal pin into a small bore) and parameters of hand-grip strength were determined in 15 male volunteers before and immediately after the stretcher carriage. Measurements were repeated after 0.5, 1, 4 and 24 h of recovery. Mean carrying time was 215±87 s (SD), mean transport distance amounted to 264±104 m. During the carriage test, forces at the stretcher handles oscillated in the order of ±50 N within each gait cycle. Immediately after exhaustion, hand steadiness was significantly deteriorated (threefold increase in frequency and duration of wall contacts), maximum and mean hand-grip force over 15 s were reduced by almost 20%. While the recovery of hand steadiness was complete by minute 30 after stretcher carriage, a significant reduction in maximum and mean hand-grip force by 12% could still be observed after 24 h. The present findings demonstrate that hand steadiness recovers much faster than maximum hand-grip strength after exhaustive manual stretcher carriage (less than 30 min vs. more than 24 h). Probably, muscle damage induced in particular by the eccentric components during stretcher transport seems to affect only the generation of large forces. By contrast, the generation and coordination of the much lower forces required for hand-steadiness appears to be impaired only during the short transient of metabolic recovery.

Keywords

Manual coordination Hand-grip strength Load carriage Fatigue Recovery 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Sandra Hahn, Thorsten Hartmann, Thomas Keßler and Zdravko Radosevic for the excellent technical support and for participation in data management.

References

  1. Barnekow-Bergkvist M, Aasa U, Ängquist K-A, Johansson H (2004) Prediction of development of fatigue during a simulated ambulance work task from physical performance tests. Ergonomics 47:1238–1250CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Belanger AY, McComas AJ (1981) Extent of motor unit activation during effort. J Appl Physiol 51:1131–1135PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhambhani Y, Maikala R (2000) Gender differences during treadmill walking with graded loads: biomechanical and physiological comparisons. Eur J Appl Physiol 81:75–83PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bigland-Ritchie B, Woods JJ (1984) Changes in muscle contractile properties and neural control during human muscle fatigue. Muscle Nerve 7:691–699CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bigland-Ritchie B, Jones DA, Hosking GP, Edwards RHT (1978) Central and peripheral fatigue in sustained maximum voluntary contractions of human quadriceps muscle. Clin Sci Mol Med 54:609–614PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bigland-Ritchie B, Johansson R, Lippold OCJ, Woods JJ (1983) Contractile speed and EMG changes during fatigue of sustained maximal voluntary contractions. J Neurophysiol 50:313–324PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bilzon JLJ, Allsopp AJ, Tipton MJ (2001) Assessment of physical fitness for occupations encompassing load-carriage tasks. Occup Med 51:357–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Byström S, Fransson-Hall C (1994) Acceptability of intermittent handgrip contractions based on physiological response. Hum Factors 36:158–171PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Danion F, Latash ML, Li ZM, Zatsiorsky VM (2000) The effect of fatigue on multifinger co-cordinaton in force production tasks in humans. J Physiol 523:523–532CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Durnin JVGA, Womersley I (1974) Body fat assessed from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness measurements on 481 men and women aged from 16–72 years. Brit J Nutr 32:77–97CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Edwards RHT, Hill DK, Jones DA, Merton PA (1977) Fatigue of long duration in human skeletal muscle after exercise. J Physiol 272:769–778PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Enoka RM, Stuart DG (1992) Neurobiology of muscle fatigue. J Appl Physiol 72:1631–1648CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Eßfeld D, Baum K (1996) Influence of gravity on cardiovascular reflexes from skeletal muscle receptors. Med Sci Sports Exerc 28(10):23–28Google Scholar
  14. Evans FK, Scoville CR, Ito MA, Mello RP (2003) Upper body fatiguing exercise and shooting performance. Mil Med 168:451–455PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Fridén J, Sjöström M, Ekblom B (1983a) Myofibrillar damage following intense eccentric exercise in man. Int J Sports Med 4:170–176PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Fridén J, Sjöström M, Ekblom B (1983b) Adaptive response in human skeletal muscle subjected to prolonged eccentric training. Int J Sports Med 4:177–183PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Gandevia SC (2001) Spinal and supraspinal factors in human muscle fatigue. Physiol Rev 81:1725–1788PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Gamble RP, Stevens AB, McBrien H, Black A, Cran GW, Boreham CA (1991) Physical fitness and occupational demands of the Belfast ambulance service. Br J Ind Med 48:592–596PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Häkkinen K (1993) Neuromuscular fatigue and recovery in male and female athletes during heavy resistance training. Int J Sports Med 14:53–59PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ito MA, Johnson RF, Merullo DJ, Mello RP (2000) Rifle shooting accuracy during recovery from fatiguing exercise. In: Proceedings of the 22nd annual army science conference, Arlington, pp 350–355Google Scholar
  21. Kent-Braun JA (1999) Central and peripheral contributions to muscle fatigue in humans during sustained maximal effort. Eur J Appl Physiol 80:57–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kilbom A, Hägg GM, Käll C (1992) One-handed load carrying—cardiovascular, muscular and subjective indices of endurance and fatigue. Eur J Appl Physiol 65:52–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Knapik JJ, Harper W, Crowell HP (1999) Physiological factors in stretcher carriage performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 79:409–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lattier G, Millet GY, Martin A, Martin V (2004) Fatigue and recovery after high-intensity exercise. Part I: Neuromuscular fatigue. Int J Sports Med 25:450–456CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Leyk D, Eßfeld D, Baum K, Stegemann J (1992) Influence of calf muscle contractions on blood flow parameters in the arteria femoralis. Int J Sports Med 13:588–593PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Lind AR, McNicol GW (1968) Cardiovascular responses to holding and carrying weights by hand and by shoulder harness. J Appl Physiol 25:261–267PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Nosaka K, Clarkson PM (1995) Muscle damage following repeated bouts of high force eccentric exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 27:1263–1269PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Newham DJ, McPhail G, Mills KR, Edwards RHT (1983) Ultrastructural changes after concentric and eccentric contractions of human muscle. J Neurol Sci 61:109–122CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Newham DJ, Jones DA, Clarkson PM (1987) Repeated high-force eccentric exercise: effects on muscle pain and damage. J Appl Physiol 63:1381–1386PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Raastad T, Hallén J (2000) Recovery of skeletal muscle contractility after high- and moderate-intensity strength exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 82:206–214CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. von Restorff (2000) Physical fitness of young women: carrying simulated patients. Ergonomics 43:728–743CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Rice VJB, Sharp MA (1994) Prediction of performance on two stretcher-carry tasks. Work 4:201–210Google Scholar
  33. Rice VJB, Tharion WJ, Sharp MA, Williamson TL (1996a) The effects of gender, team size, and a shoulder harness on a prolonged stretcher-carry task and post carry performance. Part I. A simulated carry from a remote site. Ind Ergon 18:27–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rice VJB, Tharion WJ, Sharp MA, Williamson TL (1996b) The effects of gender, team size, and a shoulder harness on a prolonged stretcher-carry task and post carry performance. Part II. A mass-casualty simulation. Ind Ergon 18:41–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rinard J, Clarkson PM, Smith LL Grossman M (2000) Response of males and females to high-force eccentric exercise. J Sports Sci 18:229–236CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Schillings ML, Hoefsloot W, Stegeman DF, Zwarts MJ (2003) Relative contributions of central and peripheral factors to fatigue during a maximal sustained effort. Eur J Appl Physiol 90:562–568CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Søgaard G, Savard G, Juel C (1988) Muscle blood flow during isometric activity and its relation to muscle fatigue. Eur J Appl Physiol 57:327–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tharion WJ, Rice V, Sharp MA, Marlowe BE (1993) The effects of litter carrying on rifle shooting. Mil Med 158:566–570PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Twist C, Eston R (2005) The effects of exercise-induced muscle damage on maximal intensity intermittent exercise performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 94:652–658CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Westerblad H, Allen DG (2002) Recent advances in the understanding of skeletal muscle fatigue. Curr Pin Rheumatiol 14:648–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Leyk
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • U. Rohde
    • 1
  • O. Erley
    • 1
  • W. Gorges
    • 1
  • M. Wunderlich
    • 2
  • T. Rüther
    • 2
  • D. Essfeld
    • 2
  1. 1.Department IV -Military Ergonomics and Exercise PhysiologyCentral Institute of the Federal Armed Forces Medical Services KoblenzKoblenzGermany
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and AnatomyGerman Sport University CologneCologneGermany

Personalised recommendations