Human muscle fatigue and elastic compressive stockings

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Jul;97(4):432-42. doi: 10.1007/s00421-006-0187-8. Epub 2006 May 10.


The present study was performed to test if elastic compressive stockings (ECSs) increase muscle fatigability during sustained muscle contraction or if it improves the recovery after fatigue. Surface electromyograms (EMGs) were recorded on 4 leg and thigh muscles, and static ankle dorsal flexion force levels were measured in the right limb of 15 healthy subjects. The subjects maintained a 50% maximum ankle dorsal flexion force (MVF) for as long as possible without and, after a 30 min rest, with a European class I ECS. Finally, after another 30 mn rest, the pressure exerted by the ECS on the skin was measured at standard points on the limb, using a Salzmann apparatus. During the first 10 min of both rest periods, the subjects performed brief static maximum ankle dorsal flexions every 30 s. ECS exerted a 14.3 mm Hg mean pressure at tibial level C. Linear relationships, whose slopes were not influenced by ECS, existed between the maintenance time and both the mean power frequency and the logarithm of the total power of the tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius lateralis EMGs. The endurance times, the force recovery times after fatigue and the linear relationships between the logarithm of the time elapsing after exhaustion and the MVF reached during the recovery period were also independent of ECS. The results show that class I ECSs are not responsible for greater muscle fatigability; but they do not improve force recovery during rest following static fatiguing voluntary contractions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bandages*
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Fatigue*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Pressure
  • Recovery of Function
  • Time Factors