Indices of human skeletal muscle contractile function were examined in nine subjects for up to 9 days following a single bout of stimulated eccentric exercise. Eccentric muscle actions of the knee extensor muscles were evoked by percutaneous electrical myostimulation (PES). Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), elevated serum creatine kinase activity, chronic force loss, and a decline in the 20:100 Hz force ratio were observed in the days postexercise. The exercised knee extensor muscles demonstrated an impaired ability to respond to PES. This was evident by an increased time delay between the start of 100 Hz PES and the onset of contraction immediately postexercise [22.3 (SD 15.9)%, P <0.01] and 3 days postexercise [14.9 (SD 18.1)%, P <0.05]. Muscle relaxation rates appeared unaffected by the eccentric exercise protocol, where the muscles showed no differences in the time between the end of PES and the onset of relaxation (P > 0.05). During the days following the exercise, no significant differences were observed in the time between the start of contraction and attainment of 70% of the mean tetanic force following a single 1-s pulse of PES. Similarly, no significant differences were observed in the time between the start of relaxation and attainment of 70% of the total relaxation during the same time. The increased delay in excitation-contraction coupling observed immediately postexercise and 3 days after the exercise, may reflect a damage-induced delay in action potential propagation. Muscle relaxation rates postexercise remained unchanged, which would seem to indicate normal functioning of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, suggesting this was not the site of failure in excitation-contraction coupling.
|Journal||European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1996|