Date Presented

Spring 5-3-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Exercise Physiology

First Advisor

Jill Lucas

Second Advisor

Sean Collins

Third Advisor

Nancy Cowden


Most physical activity is accompanied by a certain level of soreness, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The causes of DOMS are linked to a combination of muscle spasms, connective tissue damage, muscle damage, inflammation, and enzyme efflux (4). DOMS can lead to muscle pain, which is the most noticeable and prevalent consequence. In addition, joint kinematic changes, as well as an increased risk of injury are several other consequences of DOMS (4). Therefore, it is important to reduce DOMS as effectively as possible after exercise. There are several modalities that have been suggested to reduce DOMS. One of the most widely studied of those modalities is compression, specifically compression garments. Compression garments have been shown to be effective in promoting recovery after damaging exercise (9). However, unlike compression garments, the use of pneumatic compression devices (PCD) for the alleviation or prevention of DOMS has been studied far less. The use of PCDs has been established as effective in treating lymphedema, as well has preventing deep vein thrombosis (1,3); however, few studies have begun to explore the effect of PCDs on its impact on recovery from DOMS (13, 18, 20). Electrical stimulation is another modality that has been proposed to alleviate the consequences. While studies focusing on neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) have demonstrated a reduction in DOMS after NMES treatment (7, 16, 17), there is conflicting evidence on the use of TENS (2, 5, 11) for reduction of DOMS. The perception of DOMS was measured using a visual analog scale (VAS) in order to analyze the perception of pain after eccentric leg exercises. The pain measurements were compared between treatments. It was hypothesized that each treatment will be more effective than the control in relieving or preventing DOMS. There was no significant difference in pain ratings between treatments for each condition, including palpation (p=0.208), static contraction (p=0.119), or dynamic movement (p=0.332). However, there was a significant difference in pain ratings between time for each condition, including palpation (p=0.04), static contraction (p=0.03), and dynamic movement (p=0.01). Therefore, the treatment protocols used in this study many be ineffective modalities to use when attempting to alleviate or prevent DOMS. This study also supports the use of the drop jump protocol as an effective protocol to induce DOMS.