Profiling Inflammatory Markers During the Competitive Season and Post Season in Collegiate Wrestlers

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if biological markers of muscle damage and inflammation coincide with subjective measures of muscle fatigue and sleep quality among Division I collegiate wrestlers. The goal was to provide practitioners with noninvasive techniques to evaluate a wrestlers inflammatory state. Methods. Subjects from the Central Michigan University Division I collegiate wrestling team (n=6) were analyzed on six separate occasions throughout the course of the competitive season and post season. Biological measurements (creatine kinase, Il-6, TNF-α, Il-1β, Il-10) and subjective measurements (fatigue, muscle soreness, sleep quality) were performed. Results. The self-reported level of muscle soreness and fatigue was significantly higher from pre-season through mid-season, but leveled off late into the season. Creatine kinase followed a similar pattern early into the season compared to pre-season, and decreased at the end of season. Plasma TNF-α and IL-8 levels increased modestly late into season compared to pre-season. Sleep quality correlated with plasma levels of IL-8 (r2=0.120, p<0.05). Conclusions. Subjects experienced muscle soreness and fatigue early in the competitive season, along with an increase in markers of muscle damage. This may indicate an adaptive response to the training load. Low grade systemic inflammation increased late into the season, and correlated with poor sleep quality. Based on these data, wrestlers may benefit by additional recovery time early into the season to prevent muscle fatigue and damage. As the season progresses, low-grade inflammation may be prevented or monitored by tracking the quality of sleep.

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