Impact of fatigue at the shoulder on the contralateral upper limb kinematics and performance.

TitleImpact of fatigue at the shoulder on the contralateral upper limb kinematics and performance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsDupuis, F, Sole, G, Mercier, C, Roy, J-S
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2022

BACKGROUND: Altered movement patterns have been proposed as an etiological factor for the development of musculoskeletal pain. Fatigue influences upper limb kinematics and movement performance which could extend to the contralateral limb and potentially increasing risk of injury. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of fatigue at the dominant arm on the contralateral upper limb movement.METHODS: Forty participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Control or Fatigue Group. All participants completed a reaching task at the baseline and post-experimental phase, during which they reached four targets with their non-dominant arm in a virtual reality environment. Following the baseline phase, the Fatigue Group completed a shoulder fatigue protocol with their dominant arm only, while the Control Group took a 10-minute break. Thereafter, the reaching task was repeated. Upper limb and trunk kinematics (joint angles and excursions), spatiotemporal (speed and accuracy) and surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity (sEMG signal mean epoch amplitude and median frequency of the EMG power spectrum) were collected. Two-way repeated-measures ANOVA were performed to determine the effects of Time, Group and of the interaction between these factors.RESULTS: There was a significant Time x Group interaction for sternoclavicular elevation range of motion (p = 0.040), movement speed (p = 0.043) and accuracy (p = 0.033). The Fatigue group showed higher contralateral sternoclavicular elevation and increased movement error while experiencing fatigue in the dominant arm. Moreover, the Control group increased their speed during the Post-experimental phase compared to baseline (p = 0.043), while the Fatigue group did not show any speed improvement. There was no EMG sign of fatigue in any of the muscles evaluated.CONCLUSION: This study showed that fatigue at the dominant shoulder impacts movement at the contralateral upper limb. Such changes may be a risk factor for the development of shoulder pain in both the fatigued and non-fatigued limbs.

Alternate JournalPLoS One
PubMed ID35363812
PubMed Central IDPMC8975159