2016 Volume 28 Issue 5 Pages 1574-1576
[Purpose] This study investigated the effect of the use of trekking poles on muscle and cartilage damage and fatigue during downhill walking in obese women. [Subjects and Methods] Subjects included eight obese women who had a body fat percentage greater than 30. Subjects performed downhill walking without a trekking pole (NP) and with a trekking pole (TP) at 50% heart rate reserve for 30 minutes on a treadmill. The treadmill was set at a 15% downhill declination. Blood samples were collected to examine muscle damage (serum creatine kinase [CK] and lactate dehydrogenase [LDH] levels), cartilage damage (serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein [COMP] levels), and fatigue (plasma lactate levels) at the pre-walking baseline (PWB), immediately after walking (IAW), and 2 hours post-walking (2HPW). [Results] The CK, LDH, COMP, and lactate levels were significantly increased IAW when compared with those at the PWB in both trials. In addition, in the NP trial, the CK, LDH, and COMP levels were significantly increased at 2HPW when compared with those at the PWB. [Conclusion] Downhill walking can cause muscle and cartilage damage, and our results suggest that the use of a trekking pole can reduce temporary muscle and cartilage damage after downhill walking.