The effects of high-volt pulsed current electrical stimulation on delayed-onset muscle soreness

J Athl Train. 1997 Jan;32(1):15-20.

Abstract

Objective: We investigated three 30-minute high-volt pulsed current electrical stimulation (HVPC) treatments of 125 pps to reduce pain, restore range of motion (ROM), and recover strength loss associated with delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Design and setting: Randomized, masked comparison of three 30-minute treatment and sham HVPC regimens over a 48-hour period.

Subjects: Twenty-eight college students.

Measurements: Subjects performed concentric and eccentric knee extensions with the right leg to induce muscle soreness. Assessments were made before and after the exercise bout and each treatment at 24, 48, and 72 hours postexercise.

Results: Three separate 2 x 3 x 2 ANOVAs were used to determine significant differences (p < .05) between days, treatments, and pre-post treatment effects and significant interaction among these variables. Scheffe post hoc tests showed no significant reduction in pain perception or improvement in loss of function at 24, 48, and 72 hours postexercise. Mean pain perception assessments (0 = no pain, 10 = severe pain) for the HVPC group were 2.9, 4.5, and 3.5 and for the sham group 3.8, 4.8, and 3.5). Mean ROM losses for the HVPC group were 9.0 degrees , 22.3 degrees , and 26.2 degrees , and for the sham group were 9.5 degrees , 23.1 degrees , and 23.0 degrees . Mean strength losses (1RM) for the HVPC group were 25.9, 25.7, and 20.8 lbs and for the sham group were 22.3, 22.3, and 13.8 lbs.

Conclusions: HVPC as we studied it was ineffective in providing lasting pain reduction and at reducing ROM and strength losses associated with DOMS.