Intramuscular pressure (IMP) reflects forces produced by a muscle. Age is one of the determinants of skeletal muscle performance. The present study aimed to test whether IMP mirrors known age-related muscular changes. We simultaneously measured the tibialis anterior (TA) IMP, compound muscle action potential (CMAP), and ankle torque in thirteen older adults (60-80 years old) in vivo by applying different stimulation intensities and frequencies. We found significant positive correlations between the stimulation intensity and IMP and CMAP. Increasing stimulation frequency caused ankle torque and IMP to increase. The electromechanical delay (EMD) (36 ms) was longer than the onset of IMP (IMPD) (29 ms). Compared to the previously published data collected from young adults (21-40 years old) in identical conditions, the TA CMAP and IMP of older adults at maximum intensity of stimulation were 23.8% and 39.6% lower, respectively. For different stimulation frequencies, CMAP, IMP, as well as ankle torque of older adults were 20.5%, 24.2%, and 13.2% lower, respectively. Surprisingly, the EMD did not exhibit any difference between young and older adults and the IMPD was consistent with the EMD. Data supporting the hypotheses suggest that IMP measurement is an indicator of muscle performance in older adults.
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