J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2019 Apr 10;47:1-9. Epub 2019 Apr 10.
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe St. North, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada. Electronic address:
Altered afferent input from the neck due to fatigue alters upper limb proprioception and is likely to impact upper limb performance accuracy. This study examined the effect of cervical extensor muscle (CEM) fatigue on eye-hand tracking accuracy in healthy participants. Twenty-four healthy right-handed individuals were randomly assigned to either a control or CEM fatigue group. Each participant performed a tracking task which required shoulder rotation to move a circular object to a square target on a touchscreen computer. The task was performed with vision of the target and with the target hidden. A prone lying position, CEM fatigue protocol required participants to hold a 2 kg weight against gravity with their head in a neutral posture. The control intervention rested for 5 min, in a prone position, with the head supported in a neutral posture. Participants performed 3 trials with vision and 3 without at 5 different time points: (1) pre-intervention (fatigue or control), (2) immediately post-intervention, (3) 5 min, (4) 10 min, and (5) 20 min post-intervention. There were significant differences between the target with vision and the hidden condition for both groups between pre- and post-fatigue trials in angle of trajectory (p = 0.0001), and distance from release point to the target (p = 0.0001). Significant differences occurred in the hidden target condition for the fatigue group immediately post fatigue (p = 0.018) for distance from release to the target. Neck muscle fatigue reduced the accuracy of an upper limb tracking task to a hidden target, suggesting that altered afferent input from the neck due to fatigue may impair body schema and result in decreased upper limb performance accuracy.