Interferential therapy effect on mechanical pain threshold and isometric torque after delayed onset muscle soreness induction in human hamstrings

J Sports Sci. 2012;30(8):733-42. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2012.672025. Epub 2012 Mar 29.


This study was undertaken to examine the acute effect of interferential current on mechanical pain threshold and isometric peak torque after delayed onset muscle soreness induction in human hamstrings. Forty-one physically active healthy male volunteers aged 18-33 years were randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups: interferential current group (n = 21) or placebo group (n = 20). Both groups performed a bout of 100 isokinetic eccentric maximal voluntary contractions (10 sets of 10 repetitions) at an angular velocity of 1.05 rad · s(-1) (60° · s(-1)) to induce muscle soreness. On the next day, volunteers received either an interferential current or a placebo application. Treatment was applied for 30 minutes (4 kHz frequency; 125 μs pulse duration; 80-150 Hz bursts). Mechanical pain threshold and isometric peak torque were measured at four different time intervals: prior to induction of muscle soreness, immediately following muscle soreness induction, on the next day after muscle soreness induction, and immediately after the interferential current and placebo application. Both groups showed a reduction in isometric torque (P < 0.001) and pain threshold (P < 0.001) after the eccentric exercise. After treatment, only the interferential current group showed a significant increase in pain threshold (P = 0.002) with no changes in isometric torque. The results indicate that interferential current was effective in increasing hamstrings mechanical pain threshold after eccentric exercise, with no effect on isometric peak torque after treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Threshold / physiology*
  • Thigh / physiology
  • Torque
  • Young Adult