The Effects of Soft Tissue Oscillation on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
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Numerous interventions have been used in attempt to treat delay onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Soft tissue oscillation therapy (STO) has the potential to alleviate the signs and symptoms of DOMS. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting the effects of STO. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of STO as a treatment for DOMS after an eccentric exercise protocol. A total of 31 healthy, physically active volunteers (7 males, 24 females, age = 20.2±1.6 years, height = 168.1±10.3 cm, mass = 75.9±19.1 kg) were randomly assigned to either the STO (n = 16) or control (n = 15) group. Participants performed eccentric biceps curls with the non- dominant arm until fatigue at 80% of their estimated one-repetition maximum followed by either STO treatment or no treatment at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours post-exercise. The main outcome measures included perceived soreness, self-reported functional ability, elbow range of motion, and upper arm circumference and were recorded at baseline, immediately after, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours, and 7 days post-exercise. No significant effects of STO were evident on the recovery of perceived soreness (F(6, 162) = 0.25, p = .854, partial eta2 = .009), self-reported functional ability (F(6, 162) = 0.24, p = .815, partial eta2 = .008), elbow range of motion extension (F(6, 162) = 0.96, p = .381, partial eta2 = .034) and flexion (F(6, 162) = 0.65, p = .597, partial eta2 = .024), and upper arm circumference (F(6, 162) = 0.31, p = .787, partial eta2 = .011) when compared to the control group. It was concluded that STO is not an effective treatment for DOMS.