The relative effect of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated stretching immediately after eccentric exercise vs proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated stretching post delayed onset muscle soreness in healthy, sedentary male subjects
Schlebusch, Helen Beverleigh
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Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is muscular pain which ranges from mild discomfort to severe debilitating pain, caused by eccentric exercise. It generally sets in 12 - 24 hours after the causative activity and subsides within approximately seven days. The aim of this study was to determine whether proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated (PNF) stretching immediately after eccentric exercise was more beneficial than PNF stretching 24 hours after eccentric exercise on the muscle pain experienced in DOMS. This study was a prospective, randomised clinical trial. Thirty healthy sedentary male participants were randomly selected to participate in the study by advertising in local newspapers and pamphlet distribution in Durban and its surrounding areas. The patients' ages ranged from 20 to 32 years of age. Subjective and objective readings were taken at the beginning and end of each visit, over the three-day study period. This was done with the numerical pain rating scale and the algometer force gauge, respectively. Baseline measurements were taken before any exercise or stretching at the initial visit. All participants then were asked to do squats until fatigue to induce delayed onset muscle soreness. III The participants were divided randomly into two groups, Group A and Group B. The former group underwent PNF stretching immediately after exercise and the latter group underwent PNF stretching twenty four hours after exercise. Both groups were asked to return for two subsequent days following the initial visit and they again underwent PNF stretching at each visit. Comparison was made between the individual patients' pain perception over time, as well as between each group. Descriptive analysis was done using frequency tables (reporting counts and percentages) for categorical variables and summary statistics (reporting mean, standard deviation and range), for quantitative variables. Baseline and demographic characteristics were compared between the two treatment groups using independent t-tests for quantitative variables and Pearson's chisquare tests for categorical variables. The treatment effect was assessed using repeated measures ANOVA testing. Statistical analysis revealed that there was no difference in the improvement of pain experienced between the two groups. However, Group B (PNF stretching 24 hours after exercise) appeared to improve at a greater rate than Group A (PNF stretching immediately after exercise). A larger study needs to be conducted in order to provide statistically relevant results.