Objective: To determine the effects of vibration therapy on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and associated inflammatory markers after downhill running.
Methods: Twenty nine male recreational runners (33 ± 8 yr, VO2peak 57 ± 6 ml∙kg-1∙min-1) completed a 40 minute downhill run, and were randomly allocated to a Vibration Therapy group or Control group. For 5 days post-run, the VT group underwent once-daily sessions of vibration therapy on the upper and lower legs. DOMS was assessed pre-run and for 5 days post-run by visual analog scale. Immune cell subsets and plasma inflammatory markers were assessed pre-run, post-run, 24 and 120 h post-run by full differential cell count, and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and enzyme immunoassay, respectively. Data were analysed as percent-change from pre-run (ANOVA) and the magnitude of the treatment effect (Cohen's effect size statistics).
Results: Vibration therapy significantly reduced calf pain 96 h post-run (-50%; ± 40%, 90%Confidence Limits), and gluteal pain 96 (-50%; ± 40%) h and 120 h post-run (-30%; ± 30%); decreased IL-6 24 h (-46%; ±31%) and 120 h post-run (-65%; ±30%); substantially decreased histamine 24 h (-40%; ±50%) and 120 h post-run (-37%; ±48%); substantially increased neutrophils (8.6%; ±8.1%) and significantly decreased lymphocytes (-17%; ±12%) 24 h post-run. There were no clear substantial effects of vibration therapy on other leukocyte subsets and inflammatory markers.
Conclusion: Vibration therapy reduces muscle soreness and IL-6. It may stimulate lymphocyte and neutrophil responses, and be a useful modality in treating muscle inflammation.
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