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Changes in Skin Temperature During Muscular Work: A Pilot Study

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18073/2358-4696/pajmt.v1n1p11-15



Eduardo B. Neves1, José V. Alves2, Eddy Krueger3 & Victor M. Reis2


Abstract: What mechanism has greater influence on skin temperature during, and after, the muscular work: peripheral vasoconstriction or muscle heat dissipation? And yet, at what time each one preponderates? In this sense, the present study aimed to analyze, in time domain, the skin temperature variations during muscular exercise. This study can be characterized as a short-term longitudinal study. The study was conducted with two male able-bodied volunteers, with 22 and 23 yrs, both physically active. The exercise proposed was the unilateral biceps curl, with dominant arm. The data from the contralateral arm was used as control. A Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain was used to monitor the muscular pain perception during 48 hours after the exercise. The results show the temperature decreases during the first minute (between the start and the end of the first set of exercise). The end of 3rd set can be observed an average increase in the temperature of study arm of approximately 8.4% compared to the initial temperature and an average difference of approximately 6.6% compared to the control arm. In conclusion, the temperature of the skin over the main muscle of high-intensity exercise (performing until fatigue) decreases at the initial stage and then increases continuously until muscle fatigue. The exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD) can be predicted by assessment of muscle skin temperature 24 hours after exercise.

Key words: skin temperature, exercise, thermography.


Resumo: Que mecanismo tem maior influência sobre a temperatura da pele durante e após o trabalho muscular: a vasoconstrição periférica ou a dissipação de calor do músculo? E, ainda, em que momento cada um deles prepondera? O objetivo foi analisar, no domínio do tempo, as variações de temperatura da pele durante o exercício muscular. Este estudo pode ser caracterizado como um estudo longitudinal de curto prazo. O estudo foi realizado com dois voluntários sãos do sexo masculino, com 22 e 23 anos, fisicamente ativos. O exercício proposto foi a rosca bíceps unilateral, com o braço dominante. Os dados a partir do braço contralateral foram utilizados como controle. A Escala Analógica Visual (VAS) para dor foi utilizada para monitorar a percepção da dor muscular durante 48 horas após o exercício. Os resultados mostram que a temperatura diminui durante o primeiro minuto (entre o início e o fim da primeira série de exercício). Ao fim da terceira série pode ser observado um aumento médio na temperatura do braço do estudo de cerca de 8,4% em comparação com a temperatura inicial e uma diferença média de aproximadamente 6,6% em relação ao grupo de controle. Em conclusão, a temperatura da pele sobre o músculo principal do exercício de alta intensidade (realizando, até a fadiga) diminui na fase inicial e, em seguida, aumenta continuamente até a fadiga muscular. A lesão muscular induzida pelo exercício pode ser estimada pela avaliação da temperatura da pele sobre o músculo, 24 horas após o exercício.

Palavras-chave: temperatura da pele, exercício, termografia.


1 Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering; Federal University of Technology - Paraná. Brazil - e-mail: borbaneves@hotmail.com
2 Research Center in Sports, Health Sciences and Human Development; University Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
3 Electrical Engineering and Industrial Computing Program; Federal University of Technology - Paraná, Brazil


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