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PeerJ. 2017 Oct 13;5:e3908. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3908. eCollection 2017.

Neurodynamic mobilization and foam rolling improved delayed-onset muscle soreness in a healthy adult population: a randomized controlled clinical trial.

Author information

Healthy Sciences Faculty, Camilo José Cela University, Madrid, Spain.
Laboratory of Exercise Physiology Research Group, Department of Health and Human Performance, School of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences-INEF, Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Departamento de Fisioterapia and Motion in Brains Research Group, Instituto de Neurociencias y Ciencias del Movimiento, Centro Superior de Estudios Universitarios La Salle, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.
Contributed equally



Compare the immediate effects of a Neurodynamic Mobilization (NM) treatment or foam roller (FR) treatment after DOMS.


Double blind randomised clinical trial.


The participants performed 100 drop jumps (5 sets of 20 repetitions, separated by 2 min rests) from a 0.5-m high box in a University biomechanics laboratory to induce muscle soreness. The participants were randomly assigned in a counter-balanced fashion to either a FR or NM treatment group.


Thirty-two healthy subjects (21 males and 11 females, mean age 22.6 ± 2.2 years) were randomly assigned into the NM group (n = 16) or the FR group (n = 16).


The numeric pain rating scale (NPRS; 0-10), isometric leg strength with dynamometry, surface electromyography at maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) and muscle peak activation (MPA) upon landing after a test jump were measured at baseline, 48 h after baseline before treatment, and immediately after treatment.


Both groups showed significant reduction in NPRS scores after treatment (NM: 59%, p < .01; FR: 45%, p < .01), but no difference was found between them (p > .05). The percentage change improvement in the MVIC for the rectus femoris was the only significant difference between the groups (p < 0.05) at post-treatment. After treatment, only the FR group had a statistically significant improvement (p < 0.01) in strength compared to pre-treatment.


Our results illustrate that both treatments are effective in reducing pain perception after DOMS whereas only FR application showed differences for the MVIC in the rectus femoris and strength.


Exercise-induced muscle damage; Muscle activation; Neurodynamic mobilization; Pain; Recovery; Self-myofascial release

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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