Ischemic Preconditioning Blunts Muscle Damage Responses Induced by Eccentric Exercise

Alexander Franz, Michael Behringer, Jan-Frieder Harmsen, Constantin Mayer, Rüdiger Krauspe, Christoph Zilkens, Moritz Schumann

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


PURPOSE: Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) is known to reduce muscle damage induced by ischemia and reperfusion-injury (I/R-Injury) during surgery. Due to similarities between the pathophysiological formation of I/R-injury and eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD), as characterized by an intracellular accumulation of Ca, an increased production of reactive oxygen species and increased pro-inflammatory signaling, the purpose of the present study was to investigate whether IPC performed prior to eccentric exercise may also protect against EIMD.

METHODS: Nineteen healthy men were matched to an eccentric only (ECC) (n=9) or eccentric proceeded by IPC group (IPC+ECC) (n=10). The exercise protocol consisted of bilateral biceps curls (3x10 repetitions at 80% of the concentric 1RM). In IPC+ECC, IPC was applied bilaterally at the upper arms by a tourniquet (200 mmHg) immediately prior to the exercise (3x5 minutes of occlusion, separated by 5 minutes of reperfusion). Creatine Kinase (CK), arm circumference, subjective pain (VAS score) and radial displacement (Tensiomyography, Dm) were assessed before IPC, pre-exercise, post-exercise, 20 minutes-, 2 hours-, 24 hours-, 48 hours- and 72 hours post-exercise.

RESULTS: CK differed from baseline only in ECC at 48h (p<0.001) and 72h (p<0.001) post-exercise. After 24h, 48h and 72h, CK was increased in ECC compared to IPC+ECC (between groups: 24h: p=0.004, 48h: p<0.001, 72h: p<0.001). VAS was significantly higher in ECC at 24-72 h post-exercise, when compared to IPC+ECC (between groups: all p<0.001). Dm was decreased on all post-exercise days in ECC (all p<0.001) but remained statistically unchanged in IPC+ECC (between-groups p<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that IPC performed prior to a bout of eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors blunts EIMD and exercise-induced pain, while maintaining the contractile properties of the muscle.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Research areas and keywords

  • Journal Article


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