Effectiveness of using wearable vibration therapy to alleviate muscle soreness



To examine the acute and short-term effect of a wearable vibration device following strenuous eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors.


Physically active males (n = 13) performed vibration therapy (VT) and control following eccentric exercise. The arms were randomised and counterbalanced, separated by 14 days. 15 min of VT (120 Hz) was applied immediately and 24, 48, and 72 h after eccentric exercise while the contralateral arm performed no VT (control). Muscle (isometric and concentric) strength, range of motion, electromyography (EMG), muscle soreness and creatine kinase were taken pre-exercise, immediately and 24, 48, and 72 h post-eccentric exercise. Additionally, the acute effect of VT of muscle strength, range of motion, EMG, muscle soreness was also investigated immediately after VT.


In the short-term VT was able to significantly reduce the level of biceps brachii pain at 24 h (p < 0.05) and 72 h (p < 0.01), enhance pain threshold at 48 h (p < 0.01) and 72 h (p < 0.01), improve range of motion at 24 h (p < 0.05), 48 h (p < 0.01) and 72 h (p < 0.01) and significantly (p < 0.05) reduced creatine kinase at 72 h compared to control. Acutely, following VT treatment muscle pain and range of motion significantly improved (p < 0.05) at 24 h post, 48 h post, and 72 h post but no significant changes in muscle strength and EMG were reported acutely or short-term.


Acute and short-term VT attenuated muscle soreness, creatine kinase and improved range of motion; however, there was no improvement of muscle strength recovery compared to control following eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors.

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Analysis of variance


Creatine kinase




Coefficient of variance










Millimetre of mercury


Intraclass correlation


International units per litre






Pain threshold


Range of motion


Visual analogue scale


Vibration therapy


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Many thanks to the participants that gave their time to completing the study. Financial support was provided by Sentrix Technology, Hong Kong. The author has no financial or other interest in the product or distributor of the product.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Darryl J. Cochrane.

Additional information

Communicated by Olivier Seynnes.

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Cochrane, D.J. Effectiveness of using wearable vibration therapy to alleviate muscle soreness. Eur J Appl Physiol 117, 501–509 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-017-3551-y

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  • Muscle damage
  • Concentric torque
  • Recovery
  • Creatine kinase