Background: Pre-competition massage is usually used to improve athletic performance and reduce risk of injury. Despite its usual use, the effects of pre-competition massage on neuromuscular function have barely been studied. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of the pre-competition massage over the gastrocnemius neuromuscular function. Method: The study is a quasi-experimental clinical trial thirty healthy athletes were enrolled in the study. Subjects received an intervention in one leg (experimental), consisting of a massage, and no intervention in the opposite leg (control). From all values of neuromuscular function, the following were analyzed: contraction time (Tc) and maximal displacement (Dm) by tensiomyography, and stiffness and tone by myotonometry. Results: Main effects of pre-competition massage on neuromuscular function include a significant (p < 0.05) increase in Tc and Dm variables, as well as a reduction in stiffness and tone. Conclusion: Data shows an increase in Tc and maximal radial displacement (Dm) variables, as well as a reduction in stiffness and tone. More quality studies are needed to draw clear conclusions about the effects of pre-competition massage.

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Low back pain (LBP) is a major health issue in most industrialised countries. Lumbodorsal fascia has been advocated as a potential source of pain in the lumbopelvic region. Myofascial release constitutes a manual therapeutic approach focussing on the restoration of altered soft tissue function. No previous study has focused on quantifying neuromechanical effects of myofascial release on LBP patients through tensiomyography (TMG). The purpose of this study was to quantify immediate neuromechanical alterations of myofascial release on patients with LBP and healthy controls through TMG parameters.

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Studies on muscle activation time in sport after caffeine supplementation confirmed the effectiveness of caffeine. The novel approach was to determine whether a dose of 9 mg/kg/ body mass (b.m.) of caffeine affects the changes of contraction time and the displacement of electrically stimulated muscle (gastrocnemius medialis) in professional athletes who regularly consume products rich in caffeine and do not comply with the caffeine discontinuation period requirements. The study included 40 professional male handball players (age = 23.13 ± 3.51, b.m. = 93.51 ± 15.70 kg, height 191 ± 7.72, BMI = 25.89 ± 3.10). The analysis showed that in the experimental group the values of examined parameters were significantly reduced (p ≤ 0.001) (contraction time: before = 20.60 ± 2.58 ms/ after = 18.43 ± 3.05 ms; maximal displacement: before = 2.32 ± 0.80 mm/after = 1.69 ± 0.51 mm). No significant changes were found in the placebo group. The main achievement of this research was to demonstrate that caffeine at a dose of 9 mg/kg in professional athletes who regularly consume products rich in caffeine has a direct positive effect on the mechanical activity of skeletal muscle stimulated by an electric pulse.

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The aim of this study was to compare the effects of various recovery techniques on muscle tissue after eccentric exercise-induced muscle fatigue (EIMF). Forty subjects (24.3 ± 2.6 years; 77.45 ± 8.3 kg; 177.0 ± 6.4 cm; 24.66 ± 1.6 kg∙m−2) were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: manual therapy (n =10, MT), mechanical vibration (n = 10, MV), percussion therapy (n = 10, PT) or foam roller (n = 10, FR). The contraction time (Tc) and the radial displacement (Dm) of the gastrocnemius was evaluated through tensiomyography (TMG). The application of the different techniques had positive effects for Tc and Dm in the treated leg compared to the untreated leg (F = 50.01, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.58 and F = 27.58, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.43, respectively) and for the interaction of the factors (Time x Leg x Therapy: F = 5.76, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.32 and F = 5.93, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.33, respectively). The results of the various methods used were similar: Tc (F = 0.17, p = 0.917; η2p = 0.01) and Dm (F = 3.30, p = 0.031, η2p = 0.22). PT interventions show potential for restoring muscle compliance and reducing stiffness, similar to MT and possibly more effective (cost-time relationship) compared to MV or FR.

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Diacutaneous fibrolysis is a noninvasive technique that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders such as shoulder pain, lateral epicondylalgia, patellofemoral pain syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. However, while diacutaneous fibrolysis is applied to soft tissue, its effects on muscular properties are unknown. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of diacutaneous fibrolysis on muscle properties as measured by tensiomyography and myotonometry in asymptomatic subjects.

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This study compared muscle function pre- and post-central fatigue caused by a marathon, using maximal displacement (Dm), which indicates muscular stiffness in tensiomyography (TMG) results. Blood and noninvasive TMG test were performed on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th days before and immediately after the marathon. The muscles assessed were the vastus lateralis (VL), vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF), biceps femoris (BF), semitendinosus (ST), tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius lateralis, and gastrocnemius medialis. Lactate dehydrogenase levels (lactate dehydrogenase) increased sharply immediately after the competition and decreased to the pre-competition level after 5 days. Dm was the highest immediately post-competition at BF, ST, VL, VM, and RF muscles, with a tendency to decrease to pre-competition levels after 1 day. The application of TMG to identify muscle changes in central fatigue studies may be appropriate in the proximal region rather than in the distal region.

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The aim of this study was to analyse the acute effects of a concentric exercise and two different eccentric overload exercises (EOEs) on blood markers of muscle damage (i.e. creatine kinase [CK], lactate dehydrogenase [LDH], myoglobin [Myo], and malondialdehyde [MDA]) and muscle contractile properties. Ten healthy, young (27 ± 1.5 years, 179 ± 6 cm, 78.7 ± 10.8 kg), physically active men (3.5 ± 1.9 h·w-1) randomly performed three training sessions using the following protocols: a half-squat (HS) as a concentric exercise, and exercises using Versapulley (VP) or YoYo isoinertial technology (YIT) as EOEs (4 x 7 repetitions with a 2 min rest interval between sets). Blood samples and tensiomyography measurements were obtained after each training session. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the Tukey test was used to detect differences between the four time points of each variable. The standardized difference or effect size (ES, 90% confidence limit) in the selected variables was calculated using the basal SD. After all exercises, a greater activity of CK, LDH, and concentration of Myo, and MDA were found compared to baseline values (p < 0.05). A substantially greater activity of CK, LDH, and Myo concentration, but not MDA, were found after EOEs when compared to the HS protocol. Substantially lower tensiomyography results in the rectus femoris (RF) were reported, irrespective of the exercise mode performed. Also, no substantial differences were obtained in the biceps femoris (BF) between EOEs and the HS protocol. Time of contraction (Tc) in the RF was possibly to very likely lower in the HS in comparison to EOEs. Additionally, muscular displacement (Dm) in the RF was substantially lower in the HS compared to EOEs. VP produced higher concentrations of damage markers than YIT and concentric exercise did. Furthermore, tensiomyography variables showed similar activation in both exercises, although higher specific fatigue (in the RF) was registered in the traditional HS.

 

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Post workout multi-ingredient admixtures are commonly used to maximize recovery after exercise. The present double-blind, cross-over study compared the acute effects of ingesting a protein-vegan multi-ingredient (VGMT) vs. maltodextrin (MALT) on indices of muscle function. Ten trained males, (26.8 ± 1.9 years) performed two identical, 3-day resistance training periods (one workout-session per day) while receiving either VGMT or MALT (10 min after the completion of each workout). Following a baseline evaluation, we conducted assessments at, 1-h, 24-h and 48-h after the 3-day training period. Primary outcome included the evoked tensiomyography contraction velocity (Vc) of vastus medialis (VM), biceps femoris long head (BFLH) and anterior deltoids (AD). Secondary outcomes involved strength and power performance while the other tensiomyography variables [muscle displacement (Dm), contraction time (Tc)] were considered as exploratory. After 1-h, all the tensiomyography variables measured at VM and BFLH were similarly depressed in both treatments. Only MALT showed a significantly lower Vc (−0.02 m. s −1, 95% CI, −0.04, −0.01) in the AD. After 24-h, the VGMT treatment normalized all tensiomyography values. Conversely, impaired scores were observed in Vc for the VM (−0.03 m. s −1, 95% CI, −0.06, −0.01) and BFLH (−0.02 m. s −1, 95% CI, −0.05, 0.01) in the MALT treatment. Particularly, the Vc in VM was lower (p = 0.043) in MALT compared to VGMT. Overall, both treatments required 48-h to regain their performance capacity; however, VGMT produced better vertical jump and squat performance at 24-h vs. MALT. Compared to MALT, a vegan-protein multi-ingredient appears to hasten the recovery of muscular function over a 24-h period.

 

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The purpose was to investigate the effect of rest-redistribution (RR) on muscle damage after eccentric knee extensions. After 2 weeks of eccentric familiarization, 11 resistance-trained men performed 2 work-matched isokinetic unilateral eccentric knee extension protocols at 60°·s−1 using a crossover design, separated by 7 days. Subjects performed 40 repetitions with 285 seconds of rest using traditional sets (TS; 4 sets of 10 with 95 seconds of interset rest) and RR (RR; 20 sets of 2 with 15 seconds of interset rest). Muscle morphology, tensiomyography, range of motion, perceived soreness, and strength were measured before and 0, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hour after RR and TS. There were no protocol × time interactions (p < 0.05). When collapsed across protocol and compared to baseline, echo intensity of the proximal vastus lateralis was 7 ± 9% greater at 0 hour (p = 0.042), echo intensity of the distal vastus lateralis was 6 ± 7% and 9 ± 7% greater at 0 hour (p = 0.048) and 24 hour (p < 0.001), respectively, and passive ROM was 2 ± 1% lower at 48 hour (p = 0.043) after exercise. No other differences existed over time for any other variable. Thus, contrary to concentric performance where RR likely plays a large role in maintaining performance, RR during eccentric isokinetic resistance training does not strongly influence exercise performance and indications of subsequent muscle damage.

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Is tensiomyography sensitive enough?

New technological advances are constantly being developed to assess fatigue and muscle damage in sports. Tensiomyography (TMG) has been used as an alternative method to indirectly assess these physiological responses. The aim of this study was to explore the potential use of TMG parameters (muscle radial deformation [Dm], time of contraction [Tc], delay time [Td], deformation rate until 10% [V10] and 90% [V90]) to detect neuromuscular acute fatigue-related responses during a duathlon compared to well-known biochemical (blood lactate [BLa]), perceptual (rate of perceived exertion [RPE]), and functional (jump performance [CMJ]) variables. Twenty-three well-trained athletes (age 33.6 ± 7.2 years, weight 64.4± 9.2 kg, height 1.7 ± 0.2 m, VO2max 56.7± 6.9 mL/kg/min, body fat 16.6 ± 8.4%, lean mass 53.2 ± 11.6 kg) performed a 5k-25k-5k duathlon under controlled indoor conditions at 23°C. TMG muscle properties (left and right gastrocnemius lateralis), BLa, RPE, and CMJ were measured pre-duathlon, during transition 1 (T1), during transition 2 (T2), and post-duathlon. After one-way analyses of variance, there were large differences in BLa (p< 0.01), RPE (p< 0.01) and CMJ (p< 0.01). Large differences (p< 0.01) were also found in Tc, Dm, Td, V10, and V90 as TMG muscle mechanical markers. Compared to well-known fatigue variables (CMJ, RPE, and BLa), Tc and Dm as TMG parameters measured in gastrocnemius lateralis seem to be sensitive enough to detect acute fatigue-related changes during duathlon. Differences reported in Td, V10, and V90 could be the result of muscle post-activation potentiation (PAP) after T1, and more evidence is needed for understanding this PAP phenomenon using TMG.

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