The effect of eccentric exercise on position sense and joint reaction angle of the lower limbs
Impaired position sense and impaired joint reaction angle of the lower limbs after muscle-damaging activities is a serious functional limitation that may lead to an increased risk of injury, particularly in older populations. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether position sense and joint reaction angle to release can be affected by eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. Twelve women underwent an isokinetic exercise session of the lower limb. Isometric peak torque, delayed-onset muscle soreness, serum creatine kinase, position sense, and knee joint reaction angle to release were examined before, immediately after, and 24, 48, and 72 h post-exercise. Due to the effect of eccentric exercise, subjects persistently placed their lower limb at a more extended position, representing a shorter knee extensor muscle. Eccentric exercise increased the knee reaction angle of the lower limb after release from 0 degrees and 15 degrees but not from 30 degrees and 45 degrees. Position sense and joint reaction to release were similarly affected by eccentric exercise and independently of visual feedback. Position sense was impaired only immediately post-exercise (probably due to muscle fatigue), whereas impairment of the reaction angle to release persisted up to 3 days post-exercise (probably due to muscle damage). Attenuation of position sense and joint reaction angle of the lower limbs after damaging activities is a serious functional limitation that may lead to an increase risk of injury, particularly in older populations.