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Am J Sports Med. 2004 Dec;32(8):1893-8.

The influence of muscle fatigue on electromyogram and plantar pressure patterns as an explanation for the incidence of metatarsal stress fractures.

Author information

1
Funktionsbereich Bewegungsanalytik (Movement Analysis Lab), Klinik und Poliklinik für Allgemeine Orthopädie (Orthopaedic Department), University Hospital Münster, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Stress fractures are common overuse injuries in runners and appear most frequently in the metatarsals.

PURPOSE:

To investigate fatigue-related changes in surface electromyographic activity patterns and plantar pressure patterns during treadmill running as potential causative factors for metatarsal stress fractures.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study with repeated measurements.

METHODS:

Thirty experienced runners volunteered to participate in a maximally exhaustive run above the anaerobic threshold. Surface electromyographic activity was monitored for 14 muscles, and plantar pressures were measured using an in-shoe monitoring system. Fatigue was documented with blood lactate measurements.

RESULTS:

The results demonstrated an increased maximal force (5%, P < .01), peak pressure (12%, P < .001), and impulse (9%, P < .01) under the second and third metatarsal head and under the medial midfoot (force = 7%, P < .05; pressure = 6%, P < .05; impulse = 17%, P < .01) toward the end of the fatiguing run. Contact area and contact time were only slightly affected. The mean electromyographic activity was significantly reduced in the medial gastrocnemius (-9%, P < .01), lateral gastrocnemius (-12%, P < .01), and soleus (-9%, P < .001) muscles.

CONCLUSION:

The demonstrated alteration of the rollover process with an increased forefoot loading may help to explain the incidence of stress fractures of the metatarsals under fatiguing loading conditions.

PMID:
15572318
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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