Friday, 8 April 2016

The Effect of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness on Muscle Strength

A significant reduction in muscle strength and power has been observed during DOMS, especially during eccentric activity. These reductions usually present 24-48 hours following DOMS-induced exercises. Strength reductions in concentric and isometric muscle actions are not as significant as eccentric exercises. Concentric and isometric muscle strengths usually take about 4 days to recover, whilst eccentric muscle strength may take up to 8-10 days to recover to initial baseline levels. These muscle strength reductions will cause muscle imbalance between agonist and antagonist muscle groups. There will be an increased risk of injury in an athlete as a result of altered strength in these two muscle groups.

Muscle or connective tissue injuries during eccentric exercises may result in altered recruitment patterns or altered temporal sequencing of muscle activation patterns. This unusual muscle recruitment patterns during a set of movements are known as muscle dysfunction. Muscle co-ordination and joint motion are affected due to muscle dysfunction. High force eccentric activity may cause damage to fast twitch muscle fibres. There is an electromechanical delay that contributes to the altered temporal sequencing of muscles. This electromechanical delay refers to the time lag between the onset of muscle and nerve activation and muscle contraction.

EMG assessment has been used to identify muscle dysfunction in agonist and antagonist muscle groups. Agonist and antagonist muscle groups are muscles that carry out similar or opposing functions during joint movements. EMG assessment has been shown to be useful in patella-femoral pain and neck and back pain. The compensatory increase in EMG activity in an uninjured area or in other muscle groups is noted.

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