PainSci summary of Halperin 2015?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
This paper is a scientific literature review about a bizarre phenomenon known as “non-local muscle fatigue”: that is, fatigue in the muscles you did not exercise. Wear out your glutes or pecs … feel it in your cloits n dloits! Not every experiment has been able to demonstrate this weirdness, but many have. It appears to be more common when the lower limbs are exercised, and with fatigue induced by more prolonged and repetitive exercise. No one quite knows how this works, but it appears to involve multiple pathways: “neurological, biochemical, biomechanical, and psychological.”
The existence of this phenomenon has Interesting Implications. If muscles you didn’t even exercise can feel fatigued, it’s equally plausible that they can also suffer other consequences. Like pain.
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
INTRODUCTION: Non-local muscle fatigue (NLMF) is characterized by muscle performance impairments in a contralateral or remote non-exercised muscle(s) following a fatiguing protocol of a different muscle group(s). This topic is of interest as it affords insights into physiological determinants of muscle fatigue and may provide practical applications concerning the order of exercises in training and rehabilitation programs.
METHODS: A literature review was conducted using Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases to evaluate the NLMF effects and possible underlying mechanisms. Overall, 35 studies with 58 outcome measures that met the inclusion criteria were identified.
RESULTS: The literature is conflicting with approximately half of the studies reporting NLMF effects (32 of 58 measurements). However, on closer examination 76 % of outcome measures of the lower limbs reported NLMF effects (23 of 30 measurements) compared to only 32 % in the upper body (9 of 28 measurements). Thus, it appears that NLMF effects may be muscle group dependent. Also, tests that involve prolonged or repetitive contractions provide clearer evidence of NLMF. Other variables potentially influencing the size of the NLMF effect include the fatigued muscle groups, the protocols used to elicit the fatigue, gender and training background of participants.
CONCLUSION: While the NLMF literature is conflicting, certain variables appear to affect NLMF responses which can account for some of the discrepancies. Furthermore, the NLMF effects may be attributed to four different but interconnected pathways: neurological, biochemical, biomechanical and psychological.
These three articles on PainScience.com cite Halperin 2015 as a source:
- Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome — A guide to the unfinished science of muscle pain, with reviews of every theory and self-treatment and therapy option
- Post-Exercise, Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness — The biology & treatment of “muscle fever,” the deep muscle soreness that surges 24-48 hours after an unfamiliar workout intensity
- Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches — The biology and treatment of unwanted muscle contractions
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.