PNF and Movement 2019; 17(3): 487-497
Effect of Prior Muscle Contraction or Passive Stretching on Eccentric-Induced Muscle Damage
Seung-Jun Choi, Ph.D
Department of Sport and Health Science, Kyungsung University
Correspondence to: Seung-Jun Choi (
Received: August 6, 2019; Revised: September 9, 2019; Accepted: September 10, 2019; Published online: December 31, 2019.
© Korea Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Association. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: This tutorial review investigated the effect of prior fatigue and passive stretches on eccentric contraction-induced muscle injuries, as well as the underlying mechanisms of eccentric contraction-related injuries.
Methods: Contraction-induced muscle damage is the most common disabling problem in sports and routines. The mechanisms underlying the pathology and prevention of muscle damage lessened by prior fatigue or stretches are critical in assessing musculoskeletal injuries. Even though there are treatments to reduce eccentric contraction-induced muscle injuries, fatigue negatively influences them. Therefore, we reviewed previous studies on eccentric contraction-induced muscle injuries with prior treatments using the MEDLINE and PubMed databases.
Results: Prior passive stretching had a preventative and therapeutic effect, but prior lengthening contractions did not. On the other hand, prior isometric contractions involving relatively small forces may not provide a sufficient stimulus to induce protection. As a result, high force isometric contractions may be necessary. The studies supported the positive effects of prior fatigue, concluding that it was a factor in determining the amount of damage caused by eccentric exercise. This was due to a reduction in force and increased temperature. Studies that did not support the positive effects of prior fatigue concluded that a shift in optimal length to a longer length and reduced energy absorption during lengthening are evidence that fatigue is not related to muscle injuries induced by lengthening.
Conclusion: The variability of the experiment models, conditions, muscles, and treatment methods make it necessary to interpret the conditions of previous studies carefully and draw conclusions without making direct comparisons. Thus, additional studies should be carefully conducted to investigate the positive effect of fatigue on lengthening.
Keywords: Muscle injury, Eccentric contraction, Muscle fatigue, Passive stretch

This Article