Date of Award

Fall 10-11-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Genevieve Zipp, PhD

Committee Member

Richard Boergers, PhD

Committee Member

Toni LaSala, PhD


Exercise induced inflammation, eccentric, DOMS, static stretch


Introduction: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is caused by the body's immune system attempting to heal damaged muscles, creating exercise induced inflammation. DOMS impacts exercise performance and adherence. Treatments provide temporary relief yet fail to inhibit the mechanism of inflammation. Purpose: The purpose of this quantitative investigation was to explore the effect of immediate static stretching on the inflammatory response and subsequent DOMS following an acute bout of eccentric triceps dips. Inflammation was measured via triceps girth (cm) and self-reported Visual Analog Scale (VAS) ratings of DOMS. Methods: 24 healthy adult participants (27.4 ± 7.5 yrs., 80 ± 11kg, 1.7 ± 0.1 m) from William Paterson University reported to the laboratory on 4 occasions for ~15 minutes per visit; twice to exercise, and four times for arm girth. Participants emailed the PI DOMS ratings 24-96 hours post exercise. On visit 1, anthropometrics, baseline triceps girth, and soreness ratings were measured. Participants were warmed up and instructed on bodyweight triceps dip form. Ten sets of dips to failure were executed with a minute of rest between sets. Soreness ratings were submitted 24-96 hours via email to the PI. On visit 2, at 48 hours post exercise, triceps girth was repeated. Two weeks later at visit 3 baseline measures were again taken and the protocol was repeated but with static stretching of the triceps implemented immediately after eccentric exercise. On visit 4, a final girth measured was gathered and VAS ratings were submitted 24-96 hours following the protocol with the intervention. Results: DOMS peaked at 24 hours post eccentric exercise. Immediate static stretching post eccentric exercise significantly decreased VAS ratings (p = 0.009) at 24 (p < 0.001), 48 (p < 0.001), 72 (p < 0.001) and 96 (p < 0.001) hours post exercise. Triceps girth was unchanged in the left (p = 0.98) and right arms (p = 0.98). Conclusion: Short duration (30 second holds) static stretching implemented immediately post exercise can in fact reduce the intensity of DOMS in healthy young adults.

Available for download on Friday, October 18, 2024