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, 211 (1), 82-96

Fatigue Effects on the Electromechanical Delay Components During the Relaxation Phase After Isometric Contraction


Fatigue Effects on the Electromechanical Delay Components During the Relaxation Phase After Isometric Contraction

E Cè et al. Acta Physiol (Oxf).


Aim: By a combined electromyographic (EMG), mechanomyographic (MMG) and force (F) analysis, the electromechanical delay during muscle relaxation (R-DelayTOT ) was partitioned into electrochemical and mechanical components. The study aimed to evaluate the effects of fatigue on R-DelayTOT components and to assess their intersession and interday reliability Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Methods: During tetanic stimulations, EMG, MMG and F were recorded from the human gastrocnemius medialis muscle before and after fatigue. The latency between EMG and MMG ripple cessations (R-Δt EMG-MMGR , electrochemical R-DelayTOT component); between MMG ripple cessation and F decay onset (R-Δt MMGR -F, first R-DelayTOT mechanical component); and between F decay onset and maximum MMG negative peak (R-Δt F-MMGp-p , second R-DelayTOT mechanical component) was calculated.

Results: Before fatigue, R-Δt F-MMGp-p was the major contributor (61.9 ± 1.7 ms, 75%) to R-DelayTOT (82.7 ± 1.0 ms), while R-Δt EMG-MMGR and R-Δt MMGR -F accounted for 16% (13.3 ± 1.2 ms) and 9% (7.5 ± 1.0 ms) respectively. After fatigue, R-DelayTOT , R-Δt EMG-MMGR and R-Δt MMGR -F increased by 11, 41 and 67%, respectively (P < 0.05), whereas R-Δt F-MMGp-p did not change. Consequently, the relative contribution of R-Δt EMG-MMGR , R-Δt MMGR -F and R-Δt F-MMGp-p , to R-DelayTOT changed to 20 ± 2, 12 ± 1 and 68 ± 2% respectively. Measurement reliability was always from high to very high (ICC 0.705-0.959).

Conclusion: Fatigue altered the processes between neuromuscular activation cessation and force decay onset, but not the second mechanical component (cross-bridges detachment rate and series elastic components release). This combined approach provided reliable measurement of the different R-DelayTOT components and it may represent a valid tool to get more insights on muscle electromechanical behaviour.

Keywords: electromyogram; force; latency; mechanomyogram; reliability; skeletal muscle.

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