Quantifying Passive Joint Stiffness at the Elbow Following EIMD of the Elbow Flexors

Faculty Advisor

McCall, Gary

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2018


Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) can cause symptoms such as reduced strength, inflammatory responses, delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and muscle/joint stiffness. Joint stiffness has traditionally been measured in static joint positions. The purpose of this project was to quantify joint stiffness at the elbow during passive isokinetic movement throughout the full range of motion after EIMD of the elbow flexors. Subjects performed 50 maximal eccentric muscle actions with their nondominant arm, with the dominant arm as a control. Several measurements, including limb circumference, relaxed elbow angle, perceived soreness, passive elbow joint stiffness, and isokinetic maximum strength were performed on both arms before the eccentric exercise and 1,2,3, and 7 days following the eccentric exercise. A 2-factor (arm x day) repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare the means and interactions for each dependent variable, with α<0.5 as significant. Significant changes between dominant and nondominant arm were observed for perceived soreness, isokinetic maximum strength, and relaxed elbow angle. There was no significant difference between arms for passive elbow joint stiffness or limb circumference. These results indicate that EIMD was induced in the nondominant arm, but an increase in joint stiffness during passive isokinetic movement was not observed.


University of Puget Sound

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