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Pressure Pain Mapping of the Wrist Extensors After Repeated Eccentric Exercise at High Intensity

Delfa de la Morena, José M.1,2; Samani, Afshin1; Fernández-Carnero, Josué2; Hansen, Ernst A.1; Madeleine, Pascal1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 11 - p 3045–3052
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31828bf2c9
Original Research

Delfa de la Morena, JM, Samani, A, Fernández-Carnero, J, Hansen, EA, and Madeleine, P. Pressure pain mapping of the wrist extensors after repeated eccentric exercise at high intensity. J Strength Cond Res 27(11): 3045–3052, 2013—The purpose of this study was to investigate adaptation mechanisms after 2 test rounds consisting of eccentric exercise using pressure pain imaging of the wrist extensors. Pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) were assessed over 12 points forming a 3 × 4 matrix over the dominant elbow in 12 participants. From the PPT assessments, pressure pain maps were computed. Delayed onset muscle soreness was induced in an initial test round of high-intensity eccentric exercise. The second test round performed 7 days later aimed at resulting in adaptation. The PPTs were assessed before, immediately after, and 24 hours after the 2 test rounds of eccentric exercise. For the first test round, the mean PPT was significantly lower 24 hours after exercise compared with before exercise (389.5 ± 64.1 vs. 500.5 ± 66.4 kPa, respectively; p = 0.02). For the second test round, the PPT was similar before and 24 hours after (447.7 ± 51.3 vs. 458.0 ± 73.1 kPa, respectively; p = 1.0). This study demonstrated adaptive effects of the wrist extensors monitored by pain imaging technique in healthy untrained humans. A lack of hyperalgesia, i.e., no decrease in PPT underlined adaptation after the second test round of eccentric exercise performed 7 days after the initial test round. The present findings showed for the first time that repeated eccentric exercise performed twice over 2 weeks protects the wrist extensor muscles from developing exacerbated pressure pain sensitivity. Thus, the addition of eccentric components to training regimens should be considered to induce protective adaptation.

1Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction (SMI), Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark; and

2Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain

Address correspondence to Prof. Pascal Madeleine,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.