The purpose of this study was to investigate whether differences in the peripheral and control properties of the neuromuscular system due to long-term preferential use, related to side dominance, affect postural muscles, such as the upper trapezius. Therefore, fatigability properties of the upper trapezius muscles of the dominant and non-dominant side were assessed. Surface EMG signals were detected from the upper trapezius muscles of both sides of nine right- and five left-handed subjects with adhesive linear electrode arrays consisting of eight contact points. Static constant force contractions with the arms 90° abducted were performed by the subjects while holding hand loads of 0 kg, 0.5 kg, and 1 kg. Surface EMG spectral and amplitude variables were computed from the recorded signals. EMG spectral variable rate of change (indicating fatigue) showed a statistically significant difference between the two sides, with the dominant side less fatigable than the non-dominant one. The observed differences held for both the right- and left-handed subject group. A possible explanation for the results is that long preferential use of one side with respect to the other leads to changes in muscle fiber membrane and control properties, in agreement with previous results on limb muscles.
Farina, D., Kallenberg, L. A. C., Merletti, R., & Hermens, H. J. (2003). Effect of side dominance on myoelectric manifestations of muscle fatigue in the human upper trapezius muscle. European journal of applied physiology, 90(5-6), 480-488. [10.1007/s00421-003-0905-4]. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-003-0905-4