Hot Gel Packs and Reduction of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness 30 Minutes after Treatment

Click name to view affiliation

Ken D. Sumida
Search for other papers by Ken D. Sumida in
Current site
Google Scholar
Marcia B. Greenberg
Search for other papers by Marcia B. Greenberg in
Current site
Google Scholar
, and
Janeen M. Hill
Search for other papers by Janeen M. Hill in
Current site
Google Scholar
Restricted access


The effectiveness of thermal modalities on pain relief should be short lived.


To examine the effectiveness of hot and cold gel packs in reducing de-layed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) 30 min after treatment.


Participants performed eccentric contractions of the nondominant elbow flexors, returned 48 hr later, and were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments (n = 17–18 per group): a 20-min application of a hot, cold, or room-temperature gel pack or no treatment.


Pain was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS) before and 48 hr after exercise and 30 min after the treatment.


All groups demonstrated a significant (P < .05) elevation in their VAS 48 hr after the exercise, 0.10 ± 0.04 cm (initial) vs. 3.27 ± 0.24 cm (48 hr later). Only the hot-pack treatment group indicated a significant (P < .05) reduction in pain: 1.66 ± 0.30 cm (after treatment).


Superficial heat can attenuate DOMS 30 min after treatment.

Sumida and Hill are with the Dept of Biological Sciences, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866. Greenberg is with the Center for Cerebral Palsy, UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

  • Collapse
  • Expand
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1579 211 11
Full Text Views 18 5 0
PDF Downloads 24 1 0