MUSCLE SORENESS (PEMS),the familiar stiffness and soreness that occurs a day or two after intense exercise to which we are unaccustomed, has been the subject of a number of studies. The elegant study of concentric vs. eccentric work by Asmussen (2) showed that this soreness resulted not from accumulation of products of mabolic turnover but, rather, from mechanical changes linked to the stresses associated with the exercise. It corroborated Houghâs theory of microtearing (7). The suggestion of DeVries (6) that muscle spasm is involved in a primary way has not been borne out by subsequent electromyographic (EMG) studies (1, 10, 11). Asmussenâs suggestion that the soreness is caused by connective tissue changes at the myotendinal junctions, which he based on palpatory findings by physical therapists, has received some support from the report of Abraham (1) of changes in hydroxyproline excrion patterns that correlate with the time course of soreness. POSTEXERCISE 0161-7567/85 $1.50 Choice of subjects and preliminary examination. The subjects were healthy young adults found upon physical examination to be free of any abnormal restriction of motion or abnormal tissue texture in the upper body. The strength (peak torque) of the elbow flexors of each subject was dermined
Journal of Applied Physiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: May 1, 1985
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