Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2008 Mar;102(4):439-46. Epub 2007 Nov 3.

Modulation in voluntary neural drive in relation to muscle soreness.

Author information

Motor Efficiency and Deficiency Laboratory, EA 2991, UFR STAPS, Montpellier, France.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether (1) spinal modulation would change after non-exhausting eccentric exercise of the plantar flexor muscles that produced muscle soreness and (2) central modulation of the motor command would be linked to the development of muscle soreness. Ten healthy subjects volunteered to perform a single bout of backward downhill walking exercise (duration 30 min, velocity 1 ms(-1), negative grade -25%, load 12% of body weight). Neuromuscular test sessions [H-reflex, M-wave, maximal voluntary torque (MVT)] were performed before, immediately after, as well as 1-3 days after the exercise bout. Immediately after exercise there was a -15% decrease in MVT of the plantar flexors partly attributable to an alteration in contractile properties (-23% in electrically evoked mechanical twitch). However, MVT failed to recover before the third day whereas the contractile properties had significantly recovered within the first day. This delayed recovery of MVT was likely related to a decrement in voluntary muscle drive. The decrease in voluntary activation occurred in the absence of any variation in spinal modulation estimated from the H-reflex. Our findings suggest the development of a supraspinal modulation perhaps linked to the presence of muscle soreness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center