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Conduction Velocity And EMG Power Spectrum Changes In Fatigue Of Sustained Maximal Efforts.

B. Bigland-ritchie, E. F. Donovan, C. Roussos
Published 1981 · Chemistry, Medicine

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The relationship between the electromyographic (EMG) power spectrum and muscle conduction velocity was investigated during both fatiguing and nonfatiguing contractions of the adductor pollicis muscle. Changes in the EMG power spectrum were measured by Fourier transform analysis and by comparing the power in the high (130-238 Hz) and low (20--40 Hz) frequency bands. Changes in conduction velocity were measured during voluntary activity from changes in the muscle mass action potential evoked by periodic maximal shocks to the nerve. This was varied independently either by maintaining a 60-s fatiguing maximal voluntary contraction involving 30--50% loss of force or by changing muscle temperature in the absence of fatigue. Both procedures resulted in similar changes in the power spectrum. However, the change in conduction velocity required to generate equal changes in the EMG was about 10 times greater in the absence of fatigue than those observed during a 60-s maximum contraction initiated at any initial muscle temperature. This suggests that during fatigue of maximal voluntary contractions, factors other than changes in the wave form of individual muscle fiber action potentials must contribute to the observed shift in the total surface EMG frequency components.

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