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J Exerc Rehabil. 2016 Oct 31;12(5):393-400. eCollection 2016 Oct.

The morphological and functional effects of exercise in the aquatic environment, performed before and/or after sciatic nerve compression in Wistar rats.

Author information

1
Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, Cascavel, Brazil.
2
Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, Cascavel, Brazil; Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of exercise in the aquatic environment, performed before and/or after sciatic nerve compression in Wistar rats on morphological and functional parameters. Twenty-five Wistar rats were divided into the following groups: control (C), lesion (L), trained+lesion (TL), lesion+exercise (LE), and training+lesion+exercise (TLE), who underwent right sciatic nerve compression on day 21 of the experiment. The TL and TLE groups were submitted to a jumping exercise in a water environment for 20 days prior to injury and the LE and TLE groups after injury. The functional analysis was carried out using the sciatic functional index (SFI). On the last day of the experiment, the right sciatic nerves were collected, processed and analysed according to morphology and morphometry. The C group showed higher SFI in relation to the other groups. In the morphometric analysis, in comparison to C, all groups showed a decrease in the diameter of the injured nerve fibre, the myelin sheath and an increase in the percentage of connective tissue. There was a decrease in axon diameter in L, TL, and LE groups and a decrease in the density of nerve fibres in the TL and LE groups. The exercise did not affect functional recovery. However, the exercise prior to the injury improved morphology of the nervous tissue, and when performed pre- and postinjury, there was also an improvement in nerve regeneration, but this was not the case with exercise performed after the injury demonstrating worse results.

KEYWORDS:

Exercise therapy; Nerve regeneration; Physical therapy modalities

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