Preventative Strategies for Exercised-Induced Muscle Damage
Weerapong, P; Hume, PA; Kolt, GS
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Eccentric exercise is part of regular rehabilitation and sports training. Unaccustomed eccentric exercise causes muscle damage that presents as delayed soreness, strength and range of motion loss, swelling, and increased passive stiffness. These symptoms reduce the ability to exercise and might be harmful if further exercise is continued. Several interventions such as warm-up, stretching, massage, acupuncture, anti-inflammatory drugs, and estrogen supplements have been researched in order to find interventions that successfully alleviate the severity of muscle damage. The results are controversial due mainly to the variety of exercise-induced muscle damage protocols, the types of intervention protocols, and the doses of application. From a practical point of view prevention strategies are preferred by practitioners because they reduce time lost from training, reduce the cost of treatment, and reduce the risk of further injury. For that reason, this article emphasizes the mechanism of initial events and the factors involving the severity of muscle damage. Research on the prevention of eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage is reviewed and discussed. Appropriate preventative strategies for muscle damage from eccentric exercise are suggested.