Effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on delayed onset muscle soreness following eccentric exercises for elbow

Background: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is usually experienced upon application of exercises which involve repetitive eccentric contractions. DOMS increases during the first 24- 48 hours, causing pain and reducing the range of motion of the affected region. Numerous therapeutic strategies have been identified for the management of DOMS, ranging from conservative to surgical, though evidence of their effectiveness is limited. Cryotherapy is one of the successful modalities used for managing DOMS, still the results are inconclusive. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to, determine the effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in addition to cryotherapy for the management of DOMS.
Methodology: An experimental study was carried out with 50 participants selected randomly and assigned to two groups: the experimental group receiving TENS and cryotherapy and the control group receiving only cryotherapy. The study design was approved by the institutional ethical committee. All participants received treatment three times a week for 8 weeks. The outcome measure was pain evaluated using the numerical rating scale.
Results: The results were analyzed using the Student`s t- test to compare the differences between the experimental group and control group. The findings demonstrated significant effectiveness of TENS combined with cryotherapy.
Conclusion: The combined use of TENS and cryotherapy produces a significant pain reduction in DOMS.

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Vincent Pol University in Lublin