Recovery of lower limb function following 6 weeks of non-weight bearing

Donna L MacIntyre, Janice J Eng, Trevor James Allen

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy occur following an extended period of decreased use, including space flight and limb unloading. It is also likely that affected muscles will be susceptible to a re-loading injury when they begin return to earth or weight bearing. However, there is a paucity of literature evaluating the response of human unloaded muscle to exercise and return to activity. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the soreness, function and strength response of muscle to re-loading in seven patients who were non-weight bearing for 6 weeks, compared to five healthy subjects. Function improved significantly over time for the patients but was still less than the healthy subjects over 12 weeks of physiotherapy. Concentric quadriceps muscle strength increased significantly over time for the patients. There was considerable variability in the patients reports of muscle soreness but there were no significant changes over time or between groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792 - 800
Number of pages9
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number9-12
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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