The relationship between acute exercise-induced changes in extramuscular connective tissue thickness and delayed onset muscle soreness in healthy participants: A randomized controlled crossover trial

  • Background: The extramuscular connective tissue (ECT) has been shown to play a significant role in mechanical force transmission between musculoskeletal structures. Due to this and owing to its tight connection with the underlying muscle, the ECT may be vulnerable to excessive loading. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of eccentric elbow flexor exercise on the morphology of the biceps brachii ECT. In view of the high nociceptive capacity of the ECT, an additional objective was to elucidate the potential relationship between ECT damage and the occurrence of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Methods: Eleven healthy participants (♂ = 7; 24 ± 2 years) performed fatiguing dumbbell elbow flexor eccentric exercise (EE) for one arm and concentric exercise (CE) for the other arm in random order and with random arm allocation. Before, immediately after and 24–96 h post-exercise, maximal voluntary isometric contraction torque of the elbow flexors (dynamometer), pressure pain (algometer), palpation pain (100 mm visual analog scale), biceps brachii ECT thickness and ECT/muscle mobility during passive movement (both high-resolution ultrasound) were examined. Results: Palpation pain, suggestive of DOMS, was greater after EE than CE, and maximal voluntary isometric contraction torque decreased greater after EE than CE (p < .05). Relative to CE, EE increased ECT thickness at 48 (+ 17%), 72 (+ 14%) and 96 (+ 15%) hours post-exercise (p < .05). At 96 h post-EE, the increase in ECT thickness correlated with palpation pain (r = .68; p < .05). ECT mobility was not different between conditions, but compared to CE, muscle displacement increased at 24 (+ 31%), 72 (+ 31%) and 96 (+ 41%) hours post-EE (p < .05). Conclusion: Collectively, these results suggest an involvement of the ECT changes in delayed onset muscle soreness.

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Author:Sarah TenbergORCiD, Kazunori Nosaka, Jan Wilke
Parent Title (English):Sports Medicine - Open
Publisher:Springer Nature
Document Type:Article (specialist journals)
Date of OPUS upload:2023/03/06
Date of first Publication:2022/04/28
Publishing University:Hochschule Trier
Release Date:2023/03/06
Tag:biceps brachii; connective tissue; morphology; muscle damage; muscle pain; ultrasound
GND Keyword:Bindegewebe; Musculus biceps brachii; Ellbogengelenk; Übung; Schmerz; Myalgie; Muskelkater; Schädigung; Ultraschall; Dynamometer
Article Number:57
Page Number:12
First Page:1
Last Page:12
Departments:FB Informatik + Therapiewissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International