Does movement variability increase or decrease when a simple wrist task is performed during acute wrist extensor muscle pain?

Bergin, Michael J. G., Tucker, Kylie J., Vicenzino, Bill, van den Hoorn, Wolbert and Hodges, Paul W. (2014) Does movement variability increase or decrease when a simple wrist task is performed during acute wrist extensor muscle pain?. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 114 2: 385-393. doi:10.1007/s00421-013-2777-6


Author Bergin, Michael J. G.
Tucker, Kylie J.
Vicenzino, Bill
van den Hoorn, Wolbert
Hodges, Paul W.
Title Does movement variability increase or decrease when a simple wrist task is performed during acute wrist extensor muscle pain?
Journal name European Journal of Applied Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1439-6319
1439-6327
Publication date 2014-02-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00421-013-2777-6
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 114
Issue 2
Start page 385
End page 393
Total pages 9
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract The goal of complex tasks can be maintained despite variability in the movements of the multiple body segments involved in the task (VAR(elements)). This variability increases in acute pain and may enable the nervous system to search for less painful/injurious movement options. It is unclear whether VAR(elements) increases when pain challenges simple tasks with fewer movement options, yet maintain successful attainment of the goal. We hypothesised that during acute pain related to a simple movement: (1) the task goal would be maintained; (2) VAR(elements) would be increased; and (3) if VAR(elements) increased during pain, it would decrease over time.
Formatted abstract
Purpose The goal of complex tasks can be maintained despite variability in the movements of the multiple body segments involved in the task (VARelements). This variability increases in acute pain and may enable the nervous system to search for less painful/injurious movement options. It is unclear whether VARelements increases when pain challenges simple tasks with fewer movement options, yet maintain successful attainment of the goal. We hypothesised that during acute pain related to a simple movement: (1) the task goal would be maintained; (2) VARelements would be increased; and (3) if VARelements increased during pain, it would decrease over time.

Methods Movements of the right wrist/forearm were recorded with a three-dimensional motion analysis system and during a repetitive radial-ulnar deviation task between two target angle ranges (the task goal). We measured success of attaining the goal (repetitions that reached the target range and total absolute error in degrees), and variability in the motion of wrist flexion–extension and forearm pronation–supination (VARelements). Fourteen healthy participants performed the task in one session before, during, and after wrist extensor muscle pain induced with hypertonic saline, and in another session without pain.

Results The task goal was maintained during acute pain. However, VARelements in other motion planes either reduced (pronation–supination) or did not change (flexion–extension). Thus, variability of task elements is constrained, rather than increased, in simple tasks.

Conclusions These data suggest the nervous system adapts simple tasks with limited degrees of freedom by reduction of VARelements rather than the increase observed for more complex tasks.
Keyword Movement variability
Motor control
Experimental pain
Hypertonic saline
Elbow
Wrist
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID ID631639
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Communicated by Fausto Baldissera.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 20 Mar 2014, 21:09:08 EST by Professor Paul Hodges on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences