Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen on Muscle Fatigue After Maximal Intermittent Plantar Flexion Exercise

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Shimoda, M, Enomoto, M, Horie, M, Miyakawa, S, and Yagishita, K. Effects of hyperbaric oxygen on muscle fatigue after maximal intermittent plantar flexion exercise. J Strength Cond Res 29(6): 1648–1656, 2015—The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment on muscle fatigue after maximal intermittent plantar flexion exercise. Twenty healthy male volunteers (aged from 21 to 24 years) were randomly assigned to either HBO or normoxic group and were blinded to their treatment and group assignment. The HBO group breathed 100% oxygen under 2.5 atmosphere absolute (ATA) for 60 minutes, whereas the normoxic group breathed room air under 1.2 ATA for 70 minutes. The subjects performed a fatigue test, which consisted of 50 maximal unilateral isometric plantar flexions, before and after intervention. Surface electromyography was recorded from triceps surae muscle. Subjects performed maximal voluntary contractions of isometric plantar flexions, and voluntary activation and twitch contractile properties were evaluated with cutaneous tibial nerve stimuli before and after intervention. Compared with initial values during repetitions 4–10, the plantar flexion torque during repetitions 41–50 decreased to 88.5 and 83.2% after HBO and normoxic treatment, respectively. A smaller decrease in muscle force was observed in the HBO group compared with the normoxic group. No differences in function between treatment groups were observed after nerve stimulation. These results suggest that HBO contributes to sustained force production due to suppressing the muscle fatigue progression. In practice, HBO can contribute to the prevention of excess fatigue of agonist muscles for specific exercises involving repeated jumping.

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