Does footedness affect bilateral plantar flexor responses to sudden stance perturbations under unilateral lower leg muscular fatigue?
Keywords:Laterality, Leg dominance, Balance perturbation, Muscular fatigue, Electromyography
BACKGROUND: Analysis of performance asymmetries has indicated that the right and left cerebral hemispheres are specialized for specific functions of motor control.
AIM: In the current investigation, we aimed to evaluate the effect of leg dominance on electrical activation of the plantar flexor muscles in responses to unanticipated stance perturbations in a state muscular fatigue of the dominant leg.
METHOD: Fatigue was induced through ankle isometric contraction targeting 40% of maximum voluntary contraction. Muscle activation of the triceps surae of the dominant and non-dominant legs were compared in reactive responses to unanticipated load released from the trunk, leading to forward body sway. Muscular responses were analyzed in two states: pre-fatigue and fatigue of the triceps surae muscles of the dominant leg only.
RESULTS: Analysis of magnitude of muscular activation for balance recovery following perturbations revealed fatigue-related compensatory activation in the lateral gastrocnemius muscle, as indicated by over-activation of the non-fatigued/non-dominant leg to compensate for the low muscular activation of the dominant/fatigued leg in the unilateral fatigue state.
CONCLUSION: Compensatory behavior between the legs was not evident in the medial gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Lack of effects related to leg dominance indicates that footedness did not affect automatic muscular responses either in the pre-fatigue or fatigue states.
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Copyright (c) 2023 CARLA RINALDIN, Julia, Caroline, Professor Daniel, Professor Teixeira
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