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Carrie Plaskett, Peter M. Tiidus and Lori Livingston

Ten volunteers (19-23 years old) performed 9 sets of 12 bilateral knee-extension exercises at 60% 1RM. Following exercise, 4 ultrasound treatments (5-cm transducer head, 1.0-MHz frequency, pulsed mode at 1.0 W/cm2) were applied for 8 min daily to the quadriceps muscle of a randomly selected treatment leg. The placebo leg received similar treatment with the ultrasound apparatus turned off. Knee-extension peak torque values and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) were assessed on each leg prior to exercise and at 20 min and 24, 48, 72, and 96 hr postexercise. Postexercise peak torques declined to 60-70% of preexercise values and returned to normal by 96 hr. DOMS sensation peaked 24 hr postexercise and diminished thereafter. No significant differences in peak torque or DOMS were noted between ultrasound- or placebo-treated legs at any time postexercise. Hence ultrasound, as applied in this study, does not appear to be effective in enhancing postexercise muscle strength recovery or in diminishing DOMS.

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Matthew R. Nelson, Robert K. Conlee and Allen C. Parcell

In Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), muscles become sore 24 to 48 hours after eccentric and unaccustomed activity. Fiber stiffness, due to decreased muscle glycogen, may predispose muscle to greater damage during eccentric exercise. This study sought to determine if inadequate carbohydrate intake following a protocol to decrease muscle glycogen would increase DOMS after 15 min of downhill running. Thirty-three male subjects (age, 18–35 years) were randomized into 3 groups for testing over a 7-day period. The depletion (DEP) group (n = 12) underwent a glycogen depletion protocol prior to a 15-min downhill run designed to induce DOMS. The repletion (FED) group (n = 10) underwent a glycogen depletion protocol followed by a carbohydrate repletion protocol (>80% CHO) prior to downhill running. The third (ECC) group (n = 11) performed only the downhill running protocol. Subjective muscle soreness, isometric force production, relaxed knee angle, and thigh circumference were measured pretreatment and on days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 post treatment. Subjective muscle soreness for all groups increased from 0 cm pretreatment to 3.05 ± 0.72 cm (on a 10-cm scale) on day 1 post treatment (p < .05). All groups were significantly different from baseline measurements until day 4 post treatment. Each group experienced a decline in isometric force from 281 ± 45 N pre-to 253 ± 13 N on day 1 post treatment (p < .05). The decrease in isometric force persisted in all groups for 4 days post treatment. Increases in thigh circumference and relaxed knee angle elevations in all 3 groups were statistically different (p < .05) from pretreatment until day 4. No differences were noted between groups for any of the parameters examined. In the current study, 15 min of downhill running is sufficient to cause DOMS with the associated functional and morphological changes; however, inadequate carbohydrate intake after a glycogen depleting exercise does not appear to exacerbate DOMS and the associated symptoms.

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Ken A. van Someren, Adam J. Edwards and Glyn Howatson

This study examined the effects of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) and α-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) supplementation on signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage following a single bout of eccentrically biased resistance exercise. Six non-resistance trained male subjects performed an exercise protocol designed to induce muscle damage on two separate occasions, performed on the dominant or non-dominant arm in a counter-balanced crossover design. Subjects were assigned to an HMB/KIC (3 g HMB and 0.3 g α-ketoisocaproic acid, daily) or placebo treatment for 14 d prior to exercise in the counter-balanced crossover design. One repetition maximum (1RM), plasma creatine kinase activity (CK), delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), limb girth, and range of motion (ROM) were determined pre-exercise, at 1h, 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h post-exercise. DOMS and the percentage changes in 1RM, limb girth, and ROM all changed over the 72 h period (P < 0.05). HMB/KIC supplementation attenuated the CK response, the percentage decrement in 1RM, and the percentage increase in limb girth (P < 0.05). In addition, DOMS was reduced at 24 h post-exercise (P < 0.05) in the HMB/KIC treatment. In conclusion, 14 d of HMB and KIC supplementation reduced signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage in non-resistance trained males following a single bout of eccentrically biased resistance exercise.

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Thilo Hotfiel, Marion Kellermann, Bernd Swoboda, Dane Wildner, Tobias Golditz, Casper Grim, Martin Raithel, Michael Uder and Rafael Heiss

Muscle injuries are one of the most common sports injuries, presenting an incidence up to 10% to 55% of all injuries. 1 – 3 Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), an entity of ultrastructural muscle injury is classified as an overexertion-functional muscle disorder type Ib according to the “Munich

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Paul G. Montgomery and Will G. Hopkins

Australian Football is an intense team sport played over ~120 min on a weekly basis. To determine the effects of game and training load on muscle soreness and the time frame of soreness dissipation, 64 elite Australian Football players (age 23.8 ± 1.8 y, height 183.9 ± 3.8 cm, weight 83.2 ± 5.0 kg; mean ± SD) recorded perceptions of muscle soreness, game intensity, and training intensity on scales of 1–10 on most mornings for up to 3 competition seasons. Playing and training times were also recorded in minutes. Data were analyzed with a mixed linear model, and magnitudes of effects on soreness were evaluated by standardization. All effects had acceptably low uncertainty. Game and training-session loads were 790 ± 182 and 229 ± 98 intensity-minutes (mean ± SD), respectively. General muscle soreness was 4.6 ± 1.1 units on d 1 postgame and fell to 1.9 ± 1.0 by d 6. There was a small increase in general muscle soreness (0.22 ± 0.07–0.50 ± 0.13 units) in the 3 d after high-load games relative to low-load games. Other soreness responses showed similar timelines and magnitudes of change. Training sessions made only small contributions to soreness over the 3 d after each session. Practitioners should be aware of these responses when planning weekly training and recovery programs, as it appears that game-related soreness dissipates after 3 d regardless of game load and increased training loads in the following week produce only small increases in soreness.

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Kevin S. O’Fallon, Diksha Kaushik, Bozena Michniak-Kohn, C. Patrick Dunne, Edward J. Zambraski and Priscilla M. Clarkson

The flavonoid quercetin is purported to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This study examined if quercetin supplementation attenuates indicators of exercise-induced muscle damage in a doubleblind laboratory study. Thirty healthy subjects were randomized to quercetin (QU) or placebo (PL) supplementation and performed 2 separate sessions of 24 eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors. Muscle strength, soreness, resting arm angle, upper arm swelling, serum creatine kinase (CK) activity, plasma quercetin (PQ), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were assessed before and for 5 d after exercise. Subjects then ingested nutrition bars containing 1,000 mg/d QU or PL for 7 d before and 5 d after the second exercise session, using the opposite arm. PQ reached 202 ± 52 ng/ml after 7 d of supplementation and remained elevated during the 5-d postexercise recovery period (p < .05). Subjects experienced strength loss (peak = 47%), muscle soreness (peak = 39 ± 6 mm), reduced arm angle (–7° ± 1°), CK elevations (peak = 3,307 ± 1,481 U/L), and arm swelling (peak = 11 ± 2 mm; p < .0001), indicating muscle damage and inflammation; however, differences between treatments were not detected. Eccentric exercise did not alter plasma IL-6 (peak = 1.9 pg/ml) or CRP (peak = 1.6 mg/L) relative to baseline or by treatment. QU supplementation had no effect on markers of muscle damage or inflammation after eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors.

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Douglas Paddon-Jones, Andrew Keech and David Jenkins

Purpose:

We examined the effects of short-term β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation on symptoms of muscle damage following an acute bout of eccentric exercise.

Methods:

Non-resistance trained subjects were randomly assigned to a HMB supplement group (HMB, 40mg/kg body weight/day, n = 8) or placebo group (CON, n = 9). Supplementation commenced 6 days prior to a bout of 24 maximal isokinetic eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors and continued throughout post-testing. Muscle soreness, upper arm girth, and torque measures were assessed pre-exercise, 15 min post-exercise, and 1,2,3, 4,7, and 10 days post-exercise.

Results:

No pre-test differences between HMB and CON groups were identified, and both performed a similar amount of eccentric work during the main eccentric exercise bout (p > .05). HMB supplementation had no effect on swelling, muscle soreness, or torque following the damaging eccentric exercise bout (p > .05).

Conclusion:

Compared to a placebo condition, short-term supplementation with 40mg/kg body weight/day of HMB had no beneficial effect on a range of symptoms associated with eccentric muscle damage. If HMB can produce an ergogenic response, a longer pre-exercise supplementation period may be necessary.

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William J. Kraemer, Jill A. Bush, Robbin B. Wickham, Craig R. Denegar, Ana L. Gomez, Lincoln A. Gotshalk, Noel D. Duncan, Jeff S. Volek, Robert U. Newton, Margot Putukian and Wayne J. Sebastianelli

Context:

Prior investigations using ice, massage, or exercise have not shown efficacy in relieving delayed-onset muscle soreness.

Objectives:

To determine whether a compression sleeve worn immediately after maximal eccentric exercise enhances recovery.

Design:

Randomized, controlled clinical study.

Setting:

University sports medicine laboratory.

Participants:

Fifteen healthy, non-strength-trained men, matched for physical criteria, randomly placed in a control group or a continuous compression-sleeve group (CS).

Methods and Measures:

Subjects performed 2 sets of 50 arm curls. 1RM elbow flexion at 60°/s, upper-arm circumference, resting-elbow angle, serum creatine kinase (CK), and perception-of-soreness data were collected before exercise and for 3 days.

Results:

CK was significantly (P < .05) elevated from the baseline value in both groups, although the elevation in the CS group was less. CS prevented loss of elbow extension, decreased subjects’ perception of soreness, reduced swelling, and promoted recovery of force production.

Conclusions:

Compression is important in soft-tissue-injury management.

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Borut Fonda and Nejc Sarabon

It has been reported in practice that the application of lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) to elite athletes during periods of intense training can help aid recovery.

Purpose:

To examine the effects of LBNP on biochemical, pain, and performance parameters during a 5-d recovery period after a damaging plyometric-exercise bout.

Design:

Randomized controlled study.

Methods:

24 healthy young female adults were randomly allocated into 2 groups. Before and 1, 24, 48, and 96 h after the damaging exercise for hamstrings (50 drop jumps and 50 leg curls), participants underwent a series of tests (blood samples, pain sensation, countermovement jump, maximal isometric torque production, maximal explosive isometric torque production, and 10-m sprint). After the damaging exercise, the experimental group was exposed to intermittent LBNP therapy daily for 60 min.

Results:

There was a statistically significant interaction (P < .05) between the experimental and control groups for maximal strength, explosive strength, pain sensation, and vertical jumps (maximal power and force). No statistically significant interaction was present for the biochemical markers, jump height, and 100-m sprint.

Conclusions:

LBNP therapy could improve recovery by limiting the loss in muscle strength and power and limiting the presence of pain.

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James N. Cobley, Chris McGlory, James P. Morton and Graeme L. Close

Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during muscle contractions is associated with muscle fatigue and damage in the short term and adaptive responses in the long term. When adaptation is inconsequential acute antioxidant supplementation may be able to attenuate muscle fatigue and damage to enhance performance. This study aimed to determine the effects of acute oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC) supplementation on Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (YIRT-L1) performance after repeated bouts of damaging intermittent exercise. In a pair-matched design, 12 recreationally trained men engaged in 6 d of either NAC (n = 6) or placebo (n = 6) supplementation. After a treatment-loading day, participants completed 3 testing sessions, on alternating days, consisting of a preexercise isokinetic dynamometry (IKD) test, a damaging intermittent-exercise protocol, YIRT-L1, and a postexercise IKD test. Another IKD test was completed on the 2 intervening d. NAC treatment resulted in a significant preservation of YIRT-L1 performance (p ≤ .0005). IKD performance significantly deteriorated over time at all contraction speeds, and this deterioration was not influenced by treatment group. Plasma creatine kinase values increased significantly over time (p = .002) and were significantly greater in the NAC group than in the placebo group (p = .029). NAC induced mild gastrointestinal side effects. NAC supplementation may be a useful strategy to enhance performance during short-term competitive situations when adaption is inconsequential. Titration studies to elucidate a treatment dose that enhances performance without inducing side effects are now required.