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Effects Of Short Duration Static Stretching On The Denervated And Reinnervated Soleus Muscle Morphology In The Rat.

H. Sakakima, Y. Yoshida
Published 2003 · Medicine

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OBJECTIVE To investigate the effect of short duration static stretching of denervated and reinnervated muscle using a histochemical study on the soleus muscle of the rat. DESIGN Prospective randomized trial. SETTING University medical school in Japan. ANIMALS Fifty-four 8-week-old female Wistar rats with a mean weight +/- standard deviation of 185.8+/-9.9g. INTERVENTIONS After a cold injury was applied to the rat right sciatic nerve, the bilateral soleus muscles were maximally stretched in the dorsiflex posture of the ankle joints for 40 minutes a day, 6 times a week (group S). Rats were compared with nonstretched rats (group D) for up to 4 weeks. Main outcome measures Muscle fiber cross-sectional areas, muscle fiber types, and sciatic nerve morphology. RESULTS No apparent difference in the morphologic changes of the sciatic nerve was found between groups D and S. The mean fiber size progressively declined to a minimum 2 weeks after the injury and reversed in the following weeks. At weeks 1 and 2, the mean type I fiber size in group S was significantly larger than in group D (P<.05). The number ratio of the type II to total fibers increased until 3 weeks in group D, whereas the ratio in group S was increased at 2 weeks, and successively decreased. CONCLUSIONS The mechanical stimuli of static stretching could prevent atrophy of the type I fibers in the denervated muscle and affect the reinnervated muscle fiber-type composition.
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