A Comparison Between Pulsed Ultrasound and Self-Myofascial Release on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kelly Helm


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2018


Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the pain or discomfort that occurs 24-72 hours after exercise, and usually appears within two or three days. Treatments such as pulsed ultrasound and self-myofascial release have been proposed to reduce and treat the symptoms of DOMS. The purpose of this study was to look at the effects that both pulsed ultrasound and self-myofascial release via foam rolling have on DOMS, and to see if one method is more effective than the other. Fourteen female Division I athletes (Volleyball= 9, Soccer= 5) were randomly placed in three experimental groups: pulsed ultrasound, foam rolling, and a control group. DOMS was induced into the participants’ calf muscles. Four assessments: perceived muscle soreness, 1 RM, Range of Motion (ROM) at the knee and ankle, and vertical jump, were measured to quantify DOMS. Measurements were taken before induction of DOMS, as well as 24, 48, and 72 hours post- DOMS. The pulsed ultrasound and foam rolling were performed for five minutes on each calf 24 hours after the calf exercises were performed. No significant difference in any of the assessments between groups were found, except for a significant difference in right ankle extension, F(6,33) = 3.04, p = .02, ηp2= .36. This result must be interpreted cautiously, however, because of the small sample size. To conclude, no significant difference in DOMS between the treatment effects of pulsed ultrasound and foam rolling were noted. Further research should be performed with a larger sample size.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Allison Ketcham is an Exercise Science and Psychology double major with a minor in human biology. She hopes to attend Physical Therapy School after graduation. With her aspiration to work in rehabilitation and participation on the Valpo volleyball team, she became interested in this topic because of her experience with delayed-onset muscle soreness.

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