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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692On-line version ISSN 1806-9940


GARCIA, Marco Antonio Cavalcanti; MAGALHAES, José  and  IMBIRIBA, Luís Aureliano. Temporal behavior of motor units action potential velocity under muscle fatigue conditions. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2004, vol.10, n.4, pp.299-303. ISSN 1517-8692.

Muscle fatigue, which is defined as the failure to maintain a required or expected force, has been investigated in both clinical and sports applications. On the investigation of muscle fatigue effects related to muscular control, surface electromyography (SEMG) has been the most common electrodiagnostic method, because some different parameters can be extracted from the EMG signal. Among the parameters, motor units action potential conduction velocity (MUAPCV) has been one of the most important, in spite of being usually detected through indwelling electrodes. Thus, the aim of this work was to estimate MUAPCV through SEMG, detecting its temporal behavior during isometric contractions until exhaustion. Eighteen students from EEFD/UFRJ (9 men and 9 women mean age 25.6 ± 6.8 years), right handed, consented to participate on this study. The EMG signals were collected from the right biceps braquii muscle through surface electrodes on 3 different levels of isometric contractions (25%, 50 e 75% of maximum load (ML)), which were divided into 3 periods that would define the beginning (P1), the middle (P2), and the end (P3) of the contraction. MUAPCV presented a temporal reduction with fatigue installation, showing a statistical difference among periods (p < 0.0001), comparing all the 3 loads. However, it was observed an abrupt decrease of MUAPCV at P3, mainly for 50 and 75% of ML. The results point out that MUAPCV must be quite sensible to pH reduction and changes on ionic concentrations, defined by blood supply decreases. Furthermore, the adaptations introduced on SEMG to MUAPCV estimation were considered satisfactory, reinforcing this method on electrodiagnostic evaluations.

Keywords : Electromyography; Muscle fatigue; Motor unit action potential velocity.

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