Effects of electrostimulation therapy on recovery from acute team-sport activity

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013 May;8(3):293-9. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.8.3.293. Epub 2012 Sep 19.


Purpose: To assess the efficacy of a 1-off electrostimulation treatment as a recovery modality from acute team-sport exercise, directly comparing the benefits to contrast water therapy.

Methods: Ten moderately trained male athletes completed a simulated team-game circuit (STGC). At the conclusion of exercise, participants then completed a 30-min recovery modality of either electrostimulation therapy (EST), contrast water therapy (CWT), or a passive resting control condition (CON). Twenty-four hours later, participants were required to complete a modified STGC as a measure of next-day performance. Venous blood samples were collected preexercise and 3 and 24 h postexercise. Blood samples were analyzed for circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Results: The EST trial resulted in significantly faster sprint times during the 24-h postrecovery than with CON (P < .05), with no significant differences recorded between EST and CWT or between CWT and CON (P > .05). There were no differences in IL-6 or CRP across all trials. Finally, the perception of recovery was significantly greater in the EST trial than in the CWT and CON (P < .05).

Conclusions: These results suggest that a 1-off treatment with EST may be beneficial to perceptual recovery, which may enhance next-day performance.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Football / physiology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / physiopathology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Running / physiology
  • Soccer / physiology
  • Sports Medicine / methods
  • Young Adult