Shin muscle activity and sports surfaces. An electromyographic study

DH RichieLos Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.

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HA DeVriesLos Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.

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CK EndoLos Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.

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Twelve human subjects were studied to determine the effect of three different floor surfaces on the medial shin musculature during stationary running. Electromyographic equipment, gated by an accelerometer affixed to the subject's shin, was used to separate the impact (eccentric) phase from the propulsive (concentric) phase of each running step. Excessive eccentric muscle activity has been associated with increased muscle damage, and recent investigations have linked medial tibial shin pain with actual structural damage to the muscle-fascial attachments to the posteromedial aspect of the tibia. Therefore, this study tends to verify the previous assumption that running on hard, noncompliant sport surfaces would predispose running and dancing athletes to shin muscle damage and resultant pain.