Menstrual cycle variation and gender difference in muscle stiffness of triceps surae

  • Junya Saeki
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 53 Shogoin-Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.
    Affiliations
    Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, 2-579-15 Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1192, Japan.

    Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 53 Shogoin-Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan

    Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083, Japan
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  • Tome Ikezoe
    Affiliations
    Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 53 Shogoin-Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
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  • Soyoka Yoshimi
    Affiliations
    Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 53 Shogoin-Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
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  • Masatoshi Nakamura
    Affiliations
    Institute for Human Movement and Medical Sciences, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, 1398 Shimami-cho, Kita-ku, Niigata 950-3198, Japan
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  • Noriaki Ichihashi
    Affiliations
    Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 53 Shogoin-Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
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      Highlights

      • There was no difference in the passive stiffness in the menstrual cycle.
      • There was no difference noted in the triceps surae muscle stiffness in the menstrual cycle.
      • Passive stiffness in all menstrual phases in women was lower than men.
      • Soleus muscle stiffness in women was higher than men.
      • There was no gender difference in the muscle stiffness of the gastrocnemius.

      Abstract

      Background

      We aimed to investigate the menstrual cycle variation and the gender difference of the triceps surae muscle stiffness and passive stiffness of the ankle joint.

      Methods

      The subjects of the study included 12 healthy young women and 12 healthy young men. Shear elastic moduli of the lateral gastrocnemius, medial gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles were measured as an index of muscle stiffness using shear wave elastography. The passive stiffness of the ankle joint was calculated from passive torque when the ankle joint was passively dorsiflexed. Measurements were conducted in the follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases to examine the menstrual cycle variation.

      Findings

      There was no difference noted in the passive stiffness or triceps surae muscle stiffness for young women in the menstrual cycle. As for gender differences, passive stiffness in all menstrual phases in women was lower while the soleus muscle stiffness in women was higher, compared to that in men.

      Interpretation

      Our findings suggest that passive stiffness and muscle stiffness did not differ in the menstrual cycle. In addition, the measured part of the soleus was more tensioned in women than in men.

      Keywords

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