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The Impact Of Experimentally-Induced Muscle Pain on the Performance of Single-Limb and Whole-Body Exercise Tasks

Smith, Samuel Andrew (2021) The Impact Of Experimentally-Induced Muscle Pain on the Performance of Single-Limb and Whole-Body Exercise Tasks. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.89064) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:89064)

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Exercise-induced pain (EIP), which is often accompanied by fatigue, has been suggested to have a limiting or regulatory role during endurance performance, with the ability to tolerate or overcome pain a determinant of success. Despite this, the potential impact of EIP on endurance performance is not well understood, partly because prior research investigating this relationship has employed methods of pain induction that are inappropriate in representing the transmission and experience of EIP.

The focus of this thesis was to investigate the role of EIP on exercise performance through the experimental induction of muscle pain using a model that closely replicates the experience of naturally occurring EIP. There were two overarching main aims of this thesis which were addressed in four experimental studies. The first aim was to investigate and confirm the hypertonic saline model as a suitable experimental method of muscle pain induction to investigate the fatigue-pain relationship. The second aim was to apply the hypertonic saline model to evaluate the impact of EIP on exercise tasks relevant to endurance performance.

When combined with muscle contraction, hypertonic saline injected into the vastus lateralis induced a muscle pain that felt like naturally occurring EIP of a greater contraction intensity (Study 1). Applied both unilaterally and bilaterally at rest, is was found that this method is unlikely to directly elicit a confounding response that may influence exercise performance (i.e. exercise pressor reflex) (Study 3). When applied to exercise, the increased muscle pain from the hypertonic saline impaired both the accuracy of single-limb isometric torque reproduction (Study 2) and time to task failure performance (i.e. an accelerated progression of fatigue) in both single-limb (Study 1) and whole-body exercise tasks (Study 4).

In summary, the findings of this thesis provide evidence and advances understanding of the potential limiting impact of EIP on endurance performance tasks. This thesis also has practical application in providing a novel experimental model that can be applied in future investigations of experimental muscle pain and the fatigue-pain relationship.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Mauger, Alexis
Thesis advisor: Winter, Samantha
Thesis advisor: Micklewright, Dominic
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.89064
Uncontrolled keywords: Pain, nociception, exercise-induced pain, endurance, fatigue, hypertonic saline, isometric, effort perception, exercise regulation, time to task failure
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > Sports sciences
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1235 Physiology of sports
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2021 10:10 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2021 06:47 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Smith, Samuel Andrew.

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