Effect of Immobilisation on Neuromuscular Function In Vivo in Humans: A Systematic Review

Journal article


Campbell, M, Varley-Campbell, J, Fulford, J, Taylor, B, Mileva, K and Bowtell, J (2019). Effect of Immobilisation on Neuromuscular Function In Vivo in Humans: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine.
AuthorsCampbell, M, Varley-Campbell, J, Fulford, J, Taylor, B, Mileva, K and Bowtell, J
Abstract

Background Muscle strength loss following immobilisation has been predominantly attributed to rapid muscle atrophy.
However, this cannot fully explain the magnitude of muscle strength loss, so changes in neuromuscular function (NMF)
may be involved.
Objectives We systematically reviewed literature that quantified changes in muscle strength, size and NMF following periods
of limb immobilisation in vivo in humans.
Methods Studies were identified following systematic searches, assessed for inclusion, data extracted and quality appraised
by two reviewers. Data were tabulated and reported narratively.
Results Forty eligible studies were included, 22 immobilised lower and 18 immobilised upper limbs. Limb immobilisation
ranged from 12 h to 56 days. Isometric muscle strength and muscle size declined following immobilisation; however, change
magnitude was greater for strength than size. Evoked resting twitch force decreased for lower but increased for upper limbs.
Rate of force development either remained unchanged or slowed for lower and typically slowed for upper limbs. Twitch
relaxation rate slowed for both lower and upper limbs. Central motor drive typically decreased for both locations, while
electromyography amplitude during maximum voluntary contractions decreased for the lower and presented mixed findings
for the upper limbs. Trends imply faster rates of NMF loss relative to size earlier in immobilisation periods for all outcomes.
Conclusions Limb immobilisation results in non-uniform loss of isometric muscle strength, size and NMF over time. Different
outcomes between upper and lower limbs could be attributed to higher degrees of central neural control of upper
limb musculature. Future research should focus on muscle function losses and mechanisms following acute immobilisation.
Registration PROSPERO reference: CRD42016033692.

Year2019
JournalSports Medicine
PublisherSpringer Verlag
ISSN1179-2035
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s40279-019-01088-8
Publication dates
Print21 Mar 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Mar 2019
Accepted24 Jan 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
Page range1-20
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86729

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