Continuous Compression as an Effective Therapeutic Intervention in Treating Eccentric-Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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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.

Kraemer, Wickham, Gomez, Volek, and Newton are with the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306. Bush, Denegar, Gotshalk, Duncan, Putukian, and Sebastianelli are with the Center for Sports Medicine at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.