Three articles on PainSci cite Halperin 2015: (1) The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain (2) Post-Exercise, Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (3) Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches
PainSci notes on Halperin 2015:
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.
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:
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.
- Association Between Plantar Fasciitis and Isolated Gastrocnemius Tightness. Nakale 2018 Foot Ankle Int.
- No Added Benefit of Combining Dry Needling With Guideline-Based Physical Therapy When Managing Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Stieven 2020 J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.