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Delayed muscle onset soreness in the gastrocnemius muscle attenuates the spinal contribution to interlimb communication

Abstract

Purpose

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) has been shown to induce changes in muscle activity during walking. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether DOMS also affects interlimb communication during walking by investigating its effect on short-latency crossed responses (SLCRs).

Methods

SLCRs were elicited in two recording sessions by electrically stimulating the tibial nerve of the ipsilateral leg, and quantified in the contralateral gastrocnemius muscle. The second recording session occurred 24–36 h after the participants (n = 11) performed eccentric exercises with the ipsilateral calf.

Results

DOMS caused a decreased magnitude of the spinally mediated component of the SLCR in the contralateral gastrocnemius medialis.

Conclusions

The results of the current study provide insight on the relationship between pain and motor control. Muscle pain affects the spinal pathway mediating interlimb communication, which might result in a reduced ability to maintain dynamical stability during walking.

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Abbreviations

cGL:

Contralateral gastrocnemius lateralis

cGM:

Contralateral gastrocnemius medialis

DOMS:

Delayed onset muscle soreness

iSOL:

Ipsilateral soleus

iTA:

Ipsilateral tibialis anterior

LLC:

Short-latency component

PPT:

Pressure pain thresholds

RMS:

Root mean square

sEMG:

Surface electromyogram

SLC:

Short-latency component

SLCR:

Short-latency crossed response

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

SG, SF and NM conceived and designed research. SG and SF conducted experiments. SG and AS analyzed data. SG wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sabata Gervasio.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by Lori Ann Vallis.

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Gervasio, S., Finocchietti, S., Stevenson, A.J.T. et al. Delayed muscle onset soreness in the gastrocnemius muscle attenuates the spinal contribution to interlimb communication. Eur J Appl Physiol 118, 2393–2402 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-018-3966-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-018-3966-0

Keywords

  • DOMS
  • Reflexes
  • Interlimb communication
  • Human locomotion
  • Interlimb coordination