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Wessel Jean Ph.D.; Wan, Aaron M.Sc.
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: April 1994
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of muscle stretching on delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Two experiments were conducted, with 10 healthy, sedentary subjects in each. In the first, subjects performed the stretches before the DOMS-producing exercise; in the second, subjects performed the stretches after exercise. Each subject performed 10 1-min stretches of the hamstring muscles of one leg. The other leg acted as the control. The DOMS-producing exercise was three sets of 20 maximal concentric and eccentric contractions of the hamstrings performed on both legs. The subjects rated the pain they experienced in each leg every 12 h for the next 72 h on a visual analog scale (VAS). In the second experiment, pain threshold of the hamstrings and height of straight leg raise (SLR) were also measured at 0 and 48 h. In both experiments, analysts of variance revealed a significant (p < 0.05) difference in the VAS over time, but not between legs. Results were the same for the pain threshold and SLR measurements in the second experiment. It is concluded that a stretching protocol, performed before or after eccentric exercise, does not reduce DOMS.

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