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The Etiology of Muscle Fatigue Differs between Two Electrical Stimulation Protocols

Abstract : Purpose: This study aimed at investigating the mechanisms involved in the force reduction induced by two electrical stimulation (ES) protocols that were designed to activate motor units differently. Methods: The triceps surae of 11 healthy subjects (8 men; age, similar to 28 yr) was activated using ES applied over the tibial nerve. Two ES protocols (conventional [CONV]: 20 Hz, 0.05 ms vs wide-pulse high-frequency [WPHF]: 80 Hz, 1 ms) were performed and involved 40 trains (6 s on-6 s off) delivered at an intensity (I-ES) evoking 20% of maximal voluntary contraction. To analyze the mechanical properties of the motor units activated at I-ES, force-frequency relation was evoked before and after each protocol. H-reflex and M-wave responses evoked by the last stimulation pulse were also assessed during each ES protocol. Electromyographic responses (Sigma EMG) were recorded after each train to analyze the behavior of the motor units activated at I-ES. Metabolic variables, including relative concentrations of phosphocreatine and inorganic phosphate as well as intracellular pH, were assessed using P-31-MR spectroscopy during each protocol. Results: Larger H-reflex amplitudes were observed during WPHF as compared with CONV, whereas opposite findings were observed for M-wave amplitudes. Despite this difference, both the force reduction (-26%) and metabolic changes were similar between the two protocols. The CONV protocol induced a rightward shift of the force-frequency relation, whereas a significant reduction of the Sigma EMG evoked at I-ES was observed only for the WPHF. Conclusions: These results suggest that a decreased number of active motor units mainly contributed to WPHF-induced force decrease, whereas intracellular processes were most likely involved in the force reduction occurring during CONV stimulation.
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Contributeur : Caps - Université de Bourgogne <>
Soumis le : lundi 12 décembre 2016 - 11:14:42
Dernière modification le : lundi 25 novembre 2019 - 18:14:05




Alain Martin, Sidney Grosprêtre, Christophe Vilmen, Maxime Guye, Jean-Pierre Mattei, et al.. The Etiology of Muscle Fatigue Differs between Two Electrical Stimulation Protocols. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 2016, 48 (8), pp.1474 - 1484. ⟨10.1249/MSS.0000000000000930⟩. ⟨hal-01414257⟩



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