Child-Adult differences in antagonist muscle coactivation: A systematic review
Isometric contraction - physiology
Muscle contraction - physiology
Muscle, Skeletal - physiology
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AbstractAntagonist coactivation is the simultaneous activation of agonist and antagonist muscles during a motor task. Age-related changes in coactivation may contribute to observed differences in muscle performance between children and adults. Our aim was to systematically summarize age-related differences in antagonist muscle coactivation during multi-joint dynamic and single-joint isometric and isokinetic contractions. Electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed studies comparing coactivation in upper or lower extremity muscles between healthy children and adolescents/young adults. Of the 1083 studies initially identified, 25 met eligibility criteria. Thirteen studies examined multi-joint dynamic movements, 10 single-joint isometric contractions, and 2 single-joint isokinetic contractions. Of the studies investigating multi-joint dynamic contractions, 83% (11/13 studies) reported at least one significant age-related difference: In 84% (9/11 studies) coactivation was higher in children, whereas 16% (2/11 studies) reported higher coactivation in adults. Among single-joint contractions, only 25% (3/12 studies) reported significantly higher coactivation in children. Fifty six percent of studies examined females, with no clear sex-related differences. Child-adult differences in coactivation appear to be more prevalent during multi-joint dynamic contractions, where generally, coactivation is higher in children. When examining child–adult differences in muscle function, it is important to consider potential age-related differences in coactivation, specifically during multi-joint dynamic contractions.