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This study involved an 8-day protocol to determine the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) on the mechanics of the lower extremity and on oxygen consumption during level running. On Day 1 the subjects, 10 healthy female recreational runners, were administered a treadmill max V̇O2 test. They completed a 30-min downhill run on Day 3 to induce muscle soreness. On Days 2, 5, and 8 they completed a 15-min level run at a speed corresponding to 80% of V̇O2max. Subsequent to each run the subjects completed a muscle soreness questionnaire and a blood sample was taken for creatine kinase (CK) analysis. Data analysis revealed statistically significant between-day differences for perceived muscle soreness and CK activity. However, metabolic cost was not different between days. There were significant differences between days in maximum ankle support dorsiflexion and plantar flexion and maximum knee flexion during both support and swing. None of the global parameters describing the total stride produced significant differences between Days 2 and 5. Therefore DOMS appeared to have little effect on V̇O2 and a small effect on the kinematics of the lower extremity.
The authors are with the Biomechanics, Exercise Biochemistry, and Human Performance Laboratories, Department of Exercise Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003.