Effects of Heat Treatment and Rest-inserted Exercise on Muscle Activity

  • Bang Jae-Kyun (Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yonsei University) ;
  • Hwang Sung-Jae (Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yonsei University) ;
  • Kim Chi-Hyun (Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yonsei University)
  • Published : 2006.04.01


Prolonged immobilization leads to significant weakness and atrophy of the skeletal muscle and can also impair the recovery of muscle strength following injury. Therefore, it is important to minimize the period under immobilization and accelerate the return to normal activity. This study examined the effects of combined heat treatment and rest-inserted exercise on the muscle activity of the lower limb during knee flexion/extension. Twelve healthy subjects were assigned to 4 groups that included: (1) heat treatment + rest-inserted exercise; (2) heat treatment + continuous exercise; (3) no heat treatment + rest-inserted exercise; and (4) no heat treatment + continuous exercise. Heat treatment was applied for 15 mins prior to exercise. Continuous exercise groups performed knee flexion/extension at 0.5 Hz for 300 cycles without rest whereas rest-inserted exercise groups performed the same exercise but with 2 mins rest inserted every 60 cycles of continuous exercise. Changes in the rectus femoris and hamstring muscle activities were assessed at 0 and 2 weeks of treatment by measuring the electromyography signals of isokinetic maximum voluntary contraction. Significant increases in both the rectus femoris and hamstring muscles were observed after only 2 weeks of treatment when both heat treatment and rest-inserted exercise were performed. These results suggest that combination of various treatment techniques, such as heat treatment and rest-inserted exercise, may accelerate the recovery of muscle strength following injury or immobilization.


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