A 2 week routine stretching programme did not ...

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Title A 2 week routine stretching programme did not prevent contraction-induced injury in mouse muscle
Author(s) J. D. J. Black, M. Freeman, E. D. Stevens
Journal Journal of Physiology-London
Date 2002
Volume 544
Issue 1
Start page 137
End page 147
Abstract Most athletes stretch as part of their training regimen and it is commonly believed that this practice prevents muscle injury. We tested this belief using an animal model, in situ mouse extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle. One lower hindlimb was slowly stretched for 1 min on alternate days for 12 days; the other leg served as a control. The mouse was lightly anaesthetized during the stretching protocol (isofluorane). Both legs were tested in situ by measuring maximum isometric force and maximum work before and after an eccentric contraction that was designed to cause a contraction-induced injury. The difference between a contraction before and after (i.e. the deficit) was used as a measure of damage caused by the eccentric contraction. There was a threshold for force deficit at a peak to peak eccentric excursion amplitude of 19.5 % (i.e. L-o +/- 9.75 %, where L-o is muscle length at peak isometric force). There was a significant increase in force deficit, work deficit, and curve shift with an increase in eccentric excursion amplitude above the threshold. There was no statistical difference in the force deficit, work deficit, or curve shift between the stretched leg and the control leg (P > 0.05). A routine stretching programme, at least at the intensities employed in this experiment, did not prevent contraction-induced injury in the in situ mouse EDL muscle.
DOI 10.1113/jphysiol.2002.025254

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