Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise and Sport Sciences


The purpose of this study was to investigate the physiological and psychological effects of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). To that end, 18 subjects were randomly assigned to a massage or control group. Prior to inducing DOMS, the following baseline measures were made: range of motion (ROM), peak hamstring torque, neutrophil count, and mood (POMS). DOMS was induced with 6 sets of 8 maximal eccentric contractions of the right hamstring. Two hours later, subjects received 20 min of massage or sham massage (control). Peak torque, POMS, neutrophil count, and intensity and unpleasantness of soreness were assessed. at 2, 6, 24, and 48 h post­ exercise. A two-factor ANOVA (treatment vs. time) with repeated measures on the second factor showed no significant treatment differences for peak hamstring torque, ROM, unpleasantness of soreness, POMS, and neutrophil count (p > 0.05). However, the massage group indicated significantly lower intensity of soreness at 48 h post-exercise than the control (p < 0.05). In conclusion, massage administered after DOMS-inducing exercise does not appear to reduce inflammation or improve hamstring function. Massage treatments may still be practical because our data revealed it lowered the intensity of soreness. The mechanisms for such psychological benefits require further investigation.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.