Prior heat stress effects fatigue recovery of the elbow flexor muscles

Authors

  • Masaki Iguchi PhD, PT,

    1. Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Carver College of Medicine, 1-252 Medical Education Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1190, USA
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  • Richard K. Shields PhD, PT

    Corresponding author
    1. Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Carver College of Medicine, 1-252 Medical Education Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1190, USA
    • Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Carver College of Medicine, 1-252 Medical Education Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1190, USA
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Abstract

Introduction: Long-lasting alterations in hormones, neurotransmitters, and stress proteins after hyperthermia may be responsible for the impairment in motor performance during muscle fatigue. Methods: Subjects (n = 25) performed a maximal intermittent fatigue task of elbow flexion after sitting in either 73° or 26°C to examine the effects of prior heat stress on fatigue mechanisms. Results: The heat stress increased the tympanic and rectal temperatures by 2.3° and 0.82°C, respectively, but there was full recovery prior to the fatigue task. Although prior heat stress had no effects on fatigue-related changes in volitional torque, electromyographic (EMG) activity, torque relaxation rate, motor evoked potential (MEP) size, and silent period (SP) duration, prior heat stress acutely increased the pre-fatigue relaxation rate and chronically prevented long-duration fatigue (P < 0.05). Conclusions: These findings indicate that prior passive heat stress alone does not alter voluntary activation during fatigue, but prior heat stress and exercise produce longer-term protection against long-duration fatigue. Muscle Nerve 44: 115–125, 2011

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