European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 539–549 | Cite as

Local high-frequency vibration therapy following eccentric exercises reduces muscle soreness perception and posture alterations in elite athletes

  • Pierpaolo IodiceEmail author
  • P. Ripari
  • G. Pezzulo
Original Article



Exercise-induced muscle damage produces painful sensations (delayed onset of muscle soreness, DOMS). DOMS causes compensatory postural adaptations, which in turn affect athletes’ walking and running gait biomechanics. It is still debated whether the postural changes are due to impaired proprioception or pain perception. To disambiguate between these two contrasting hypotheses, we designed a study that tested post-exercise postural adjustments in two groups of athletes: a group who was administered a vibration therapy (VT), to attenuate pain perception, and a control group.


Thirty professional futsal players were tested on five different occasions: baseline, eccentric exercises (EE) session day, 24, 48 and 72 h after EE. Vibration therapy (120 Hz) was applied on legs muscles for 15 min in the experimental group, while no vibration was applied in the control group. The measurements included: isokinetic evaluation, stabilometric test, perceived soreness evaluation and serum levels of creatine kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase.


48 h after EE, the control group showed changes in biomechanical parameters (antero-rotations of pelvis, p < 0.05). A substantial alteration in the hip kinematics was found, associated to a reduced contractile force (p < 0.01) and soreness perception. On the contrary, the VT group did not show any change in posture and pain perception. High-intensity VT decreases EE effects on muscle strength and DOMS.


DOMS significantly changes athletes’ posture; but postural changes disappear following a VT therapy that decreases pain perception. It is concluded that soreness perception is the main cause of postural changes and that its effects can be counteracted using VT therapy.


Pain Futsal Vibration therapy Muscle recovery Balance Isokinetic Posture 



Analysis of variance


Creatine kinase


Centers of mass


Center of pressure


Cranio subsystem




Delayed onset of muscle soreness


Eyes closed


Eccentric exercise


Exercise-induced muscle damage




Eyes open


Intraclass correlation coefficients


Lactate dehydrogenase


Maximal voluntary contraction


Pressure pain threshold


Pelvic subsystem


Spina iliaca anterior superior


Spina iliaca posterior superior


Vibration therapy


Whole body vibration


Author contributions

PI conceived and directed the study, carried out the experiments, analyzed the data and wrote the paper. PR supervised the eccentric exercise procedures, performed blood samples preparation and analysis, contributed to data interpretation and discussion. GP supervised the project, contributed to data interpretation, discussion and wrote the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’Etude des Transformations des Activités Physiques et Sportives (CETAPS), EA 3832, Faculty of Sports SciencesUniversity of RouenMont Saint AignanFrance
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and Experimental Science“G. d’Annunzio” University of ChietiChietiItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies-CNRRomeItaly

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