European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 116, Issue 11–12, pp 2145–2154 | Cite as

Differences in post-exercise T2 relaxation time changes between eccentric and concentric contractions of the elbow flexors

Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

This study compared maximal eccentric (ECC) and concentric (CON) contractions of the elbow flexors for changes in transverse relaxation time (T2) and indirect markers of muscle damage.

Methods

Twelve young men performed five sets of six maximal isokinetic (30°/s) ECC with one arm followed by CON with the other arm. Magnetic resonance images to assess T2 and cross-sectional area (CSA) of biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis, and measurements of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) torque, range of motion (ROM), and muscle soreness were taken before, immediately after, and 1, 3, and 5 days after each exercise.

Results

MVC torque and ROM decreased greater after ECC than CON (p < 0.05), and muscle soreness developed only after ECC. Biceps brachii and brachialis CSA increased immediately after CON, but delayed increases in brachialis CSA were found only after ECC (p < 0.05). T2 of the muscles increased greater after CON (27–34 %) than ECC (16–18 %) immediately post-exercise (p < 0.05), but returned to baseline by 1 day after CON. The biceps brachii and brachialis T2 increased by 9–29 % at 1–5 days after ECC (p < 0.05). The post-ECC T2 changes showed no significant correlations with the changes in MVC torque, muscle soreness, and CSA, but the T2 increase immediately post-ECC was correlated with the peak T2 in 1–5-day post-ECC (r = 0.63, p < 0.05).

Conclusion

These results suggest that muscle activity during exercise was lower in ECC than CON, and the T2 changes after ECC do not necessarily relate to the changes in other indirect markers of muscle damage.

Keywords

Muscle damage Transverse relaxation time Cross-sectional area Magnetic resonance imaging Delayed onset muscle soreness Muscle function 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

CK

Creatine kinase

CON

Concentric contraction

CSA

Cross-sectional area

DOMS

Delayed onset muscle soreness

ECC

Eccentric contraction

EMG

Electromyography

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging

MVC

Maximal voluntary isometric contraction

ROI

Region of interest

ROM

Range of motion

T2

Transverse relaxation time

VAS

Visual analog scale

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B; 20614473).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Bioscience and Applied ChemistryHosei UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Modern and LifeTeikyo Heisei UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research, School of Medical and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia

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