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Clin Neurophysiol. 2008 Oct;119(10):2304-13. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2008.06.015. Epub 2008 Aug 26.

Anticipatory postural control following fatigue of postural and focal muscles.

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Department of Physical Therapy (MC 898), University of Illinois at Chicago, 1919 W Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60612, USA.



To investigate the effect of fatigue of postural and focal muscles on anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs).


Nine healthy adults performed rapid bilateral arm raising movements before and after isometric hamstring (postural) and deltoid (focal/prime mover) muscle fatigue. Muscle force and peak acceleration of the arm movements were recorded to assess the presence of fatigue. Ground reaction forces, EMG activity of trunk and leg muscles and center of pressure (COP) displacements were recorded and quantified within the time intervals typical of APAs.


Early APA onset was seen in erector spinae and semitendinosus muscles post-deltoid fatigue. Anticipatory EMG integrals were reduced in the semitendinosus muscle post-hamstring fatigue, and were increased in the gastrocnemius muscle post-deltoid fatigue. No changes in COP displacement were observed following fatigue of both muscle groups.


A common pattern of APA adaptations seen following fatigue of either muscle groups along with no changes observed in COP displacements emphasizes the efficiency of the CNS in maintaining dynamic postural stability in the presence of fatigue.


The outcome of the study is important for better understanding of the effect of muscular fatigue on feedforward mechanisms of postural control with possible implications for the elderly and individuals with neurological disorders.

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