Ashlee M. Hendy, Michael Spittle, Dawson J. Kidgell

J Sci Med Sport. 2012 March; 15(2): 94–101.

“RESULTS: Immobilisation is well known for its detrimental effects on muscular function. Early reductions in strength outweigh atrophy, suggesting a neural contribution to strength loss, however direct evidence for the role of the central nervous system in this process is limited. Similarly, the precise neural mechanisms responsible for cross education strength transfer remain somewhat unknown. Two recent studies demonstrated that unilateral training of the free limb successfully maintained strength in the contralateral immobilised limb, although the role of the nervous system in this process was not quantified.
CONCLUSIONS:Cross education provides a unique opportunity for enhancing rehabilitation following injury. By gaining an understanding of the neural adaptations occurring during immobilisation and cross education, future research can utilise the application of unilateral training in clinical musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation.”