Nevertheless, its effects on neuromotor driving mechanism including the electromechanical delay (EMD), force transmission and excitation-contraction (EC) coupling which could be used as markers of stiffness changes, has not been computed using ultrafast ultrasound (US) when combined with external sensors. Aim Hence, the aim of this study was to find out produced neuromotor changes associated to stiffness when TFM was applied over Quadriceps femoris (QF) tendon in healthy subjcets. Methods Fourteen healthy males and fifteen age-gender matched controls were recruited. Surface EMG (sEMG), ultrafast US and Force sensors were synchronized and signals were analyzed to depict the time delays corresponding to EC coupling, force transmission, EMD, torque and rate of force development (RFD). Results TFM has been found to increase the time corresponding to EC coupling and EMD, whilst, reducing the time belonging to force transmission during the voluntary muscle contractions. Conclusions A detection of the increased time of EC coupling from muscle itself would suggest that TFM applied over the tendon shows an influence on changing the neuro-motor driving mechanism possibly via afferent pathways and therefore decreasing the active muscle stiffness. On the other hand, detection of decreased time belonging to force transmission during voluntary contraction would suggest that TFM increases the stiffness of tendon, caused by faster force transmission along non-contractile elements. Torque and RFD have not been influenced by TFM.
- Electromechanical delay
- Excitation-contraction coupling
- Transverse friction massage
- Ultrafast ultrasonography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation