Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Kinesiology and Sport Sciences (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Arlette Perry

Second Committee Member

Kevin A. Jacobs

Third Committee Member

Joseph Signorile

Fourth Committee Member

Jose A. Adams

Fifth Committee Member

Marvin A. Sackner


Context: Several recovery strategies have been used, with limited effectiveness, to reduce the muscle discomfort or pain and the diminished muscle performance following a bout of unaccustomed physical activity, a condition known as delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). Muscle damage in this condition is associated with mechanical disruption of the muscle and connective tissue and inflammation and increased oxidative stress. Low frequency, low intensity, whole body periodic acceleration (WBPA) that increases nitric oxide (NO) release from vascular endothelium into the circulation through increased pulsatile shear stress offers a potential solution. This is because endothelial derived nitric oxide has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-nociceptive properties. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of WBPA on the pain and diminished muscle performance associated with DOMS induced by unaccustomed eccentric arm exercise in young male subjects. Design: Longitudinal. Setting: University Exercise Physiology Laboratory. Participants: Seventeen active men, 23.4 +/- 4.6 yr of age. Intervention: Subjects made six visits to the research facility over a two-week period. On day one, the subject performed a 1RM elbow flexion test and was then randomly assigned to the WBPA or control group. Criterion measurements were taken on Day 2, prior to and immediately following performance of the eccentric exercise protocol (10 sets of 10 repetitions using 120% of 1RM) and after the recovery period. During all subsequent sessions (24, 48, 72, and 96 h) these data were collected before the WBPA or passive recovery was provided. Main Outcome Measures: Isometric strength (MVC), blood markers (CPK, MYO, IL-6, TNF-alpha and Uric Acid), soreness, pain, circumference, and range of motion (ROM). Results: Significantly higher MVC values were seen for the WBPA group across the entire 96 h recovery period. Additionally, within group differences were seen in CPK, MYO, IL-6, soreness, pain, circumference, and ROM showing a smaller impact and more rapid recovery by the WBPA group. Conclusion: Application of WBPA hastens recovery from DOMS after eccentric exercise. Given the lack of other potential mechanisms, these effects appear to be mediated by the increased NO release with WBPA.


DOMS; Muscle Damage; Inflammatory Markers; Nitric Oxide; Recovery Methods