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Measures of localized spinal muscle fatigue

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The objective of this study was to determine the best variable, if any, to indicate the level of localized muscle fatigue. Six male and six female subjects were studied while they exerted their maximal voluntary contraction and 40% of maximal voluntary contraction of spinal extensors in an isometric lifting activity. The electromyography (EMG) of erectores spinae at thoracic and lumbar levels was measured bilaterally. Also, the muscle bed blood volume, level of blood oxygenation to erector spinae at L3 level and heart rate were measured. The initial and final values of subjective feelings of fatigue through visual analogue score, rate of perceived exertions and body part discomfort rating were recorded. The mean maximal voluntary contraction forces for males and females were 899 (238) N and 431 (135) N respectively. The mean durations of hold in maximal voluntary fatiguing contraction were 68.1 (39.9) s and 72.3 (37.0) s for men and women respectively. By the end of the hold the force declined to 52% for males and 62% for females. The EMG amplitudes and median frequencies also progressively declined ( p  
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Keywords: Blood oxygenation; EMG median frequency; Erectores spinae; Localized muscle fatigue; Muscle bed blood volume

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine 2: Department of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: September 15, 2006

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