Objective In this study, the effects of vibration therapy (VT) on delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and associated inflammatory markers after downhill running were determined.
Methods 29 male recreational runners (33 (8) years; Vo2peak 57 (6) ml kg−1 min−1) completed a 40-min downhill run and were randomly allocated to a VT group or Control group. For 5 days post-run, the VT group underwent once-daily sessions of VT on the upper and lower legs. DOMS was assessed pre-run and for 5 days post-run by visual analogue 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 ELISA and enzyme immunoassay, respectively. Data were analysed as per cent change from pre-run (ANOVA) and the magnitude of the treatment effect (Cohen's effect size statistics).
Results VT significantly reduced calf pain 96 h post-run (−50% (40%), 90% confidence limits) and gluteal pain 96 h (−50% (40%)) and 120 h post-run (−30% (30%)); decreased interleukin 6 (IL6) 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 VT on other leukocyte subsets and inflammatory markers.
Conclusion VT reduces muscle soreness and IL6. It may stimulate lymphocyte and neutrophil responses and may be a useful modality in treating muscle inflammation.
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