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Original articles  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 December;42(3):458-65

language: English

The influence of endurance exercise on delayed onset muscle soreness

Dannecker E. A. 1, Koltyn K. F. 2, Riley Iii J. L. 3, Robinson M. E. 1

1 Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Center for Pain Research and Behavioral Health, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
2 Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
3 College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA


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Background. Despite several review articles supporting the existence of exercise induced analgesia, it is unclear whether exercise reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The purpose of this investigation was to examine the influence of an acute bout of endurance exercise on delayed onset muscle pain.
Methods. DOMS was induced in the elbow flexors of the non-dominant arm using eccentric isotonic exercise with the intensity of the eccentric contractions based upon concentric strength. Forty-eight hours after the eccentric contractions participants were randomly assigned to a group that completed 20 min of endurance exercise at 80% of estimated maximum cardiorespiratory endurance (n=23) or a group that watched a 20 min emotionally neutral video (n=27). The dependent variables were pressure pain threshold, pain intensity during arm movement through active range of motion, a standardized pain rating that was determined from a magnitude matching procedure, and state anxiety.
Results. A significant decrease in pressure pain threshold and an increase in the standardized pain ratings after the DOMS procedure (p<0.05) indicated that muscle pain was successfully induced. These changes were components of significant quadratic trends for pressure threshold (p<0.05) and the standardized pain ratings (p<0.01). During the 2nd session a decrease in pain intensity approached significance (p=0.05) regardless of group assignment. However, no significant group by time interactions were detected for any of the pain measures or state anxiety.
Conclusions. Cycle ergometer exercise was not found to alter delayed onset muscle pain.

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