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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002 Nov;88(1-2):134-40. Epub 2002 Aug 27.

Vibration-induced muscle fatigue, a possible contribution to musculoskeletal injury.

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Wayne State University, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy, 139 Shapero Hall, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Localized muscle fatigue resulting from 30-min sustained and intermittent grip exertions of 5% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) with and without hand-vibration exposure (10 Hz, 7 mm displacement amplitude) was investigated. Muscle fatigue was quantified by the magnitude of the twitch force elicited in the right flexor digitorum superficialis muscle of the long finger using the low-frequency fatigue (LFF) method. The influence of vibration in the sustained grip exertion condition exacerbates fatigue as seen with the reduction in twitch force 30-60 min post-work task. Intermittent low grip force exertion conditions with and without vibration exposure show negligible fatigue, suggesting the benefit of rest in the work cycle. Perception of muscle fatigue was dissociated from the objective measure of twitch force, suggesting that LFF was not perceived. The presence of LFF and the lack of perception of LFF may increase the risk for the development of musculoskeletal disorders. The findings of this study may apply to the design of the work cycles and tasks that require the use of vibratory tools.

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