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The Influence of Exercise-Induced Fatigue on Inter-Limb Asymmetries: a Systematic Review

Authors
  • Heil, Jessica1
  • Loffing, Florian1
  • Büsch, Dirk1
  • 1 Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118, Oldenburg, 26129, Germany , Oldenburg (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Sports Medicine - Open
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Aug 26, 2020
Volume
6
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s40798-020-00270-x
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundNon-contact injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament ruptures often occur during physical load toward the end of a match. This is ascribed to emerging processes due to exercise-induced fatigue. Moreover, non-contact injuries often occur during dynamic actions such as landing or cutting movements. Inter-limb asymmetries are suggested as one possible cause for those injuries based on findings indicating that asymmetries between limbs are associated with a higher injury risk. Hence, assessing inter-limb asymmetry during physical load in the condition of exercise-induced fatigue is warranted to identify potentially relevant precursors for non-contact injuries.ObjectiveThe objective of this study was to overview the current state of evidence concerning the influence of exercise-induced fatigue on inter-limb asymmetries through a systematic review.MethodsA systematic literature search was conducted using the databases Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, SURF, and SPONET to identify studies that assessed inter-limb asymmetries of healthy people, calculated with an asymmetry equation, before and after, or during a loading protocol.ResultsThirteen studies were included in the systematic review. The loading protocols involved running, race walking, jumping, squatting, soccer, rowing, and combinations of different exercises. Moreover, different tasks/procedures were used to assess inter-limb asymmetries, e.g., squats, single-leg countermovement jumps, gait analysis, or isokinetic strength testing. The results seem to depend on the implemented loading protocol, the tasks/procedures, and the measured parameters.ConclusionsFuture research needs more systematization and consistency, assessing the effect of exercise-induced fatigue on inter-limb asymmetries. Moreover, the emergence of inter-limb asymmetries should be regarded in the context of sport-specific movements/tasks. Testing before, after, and during a physical loading protocol is advisable to consider the influence of exercise-induced fatigue on sport-specific tasks and to identify the possible mechanisms underlying load-dependent inter-limb asymmetries with regard to risk of non-contact injury.

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