Submaximal delayed-onset muscle soreness: Correlations between MR imaging findings and clinical measures

Gregory F F Evans, Ronald G. Haller, Philip S. Wyrick, Robert W. Parkey, James L. Fleckenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To assess correlations between muscle edema on magnetic resonance (MR) images and clinical indexes of muscle injury delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) produced by submaximal exercise protocols. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixteen subjects performed 36 elbow flexions ('biceps curls') at one of two submaximal workloads that emphasized eccentric contractions. Changes in MR imaging findings, plasma levels of creatine kinase, and pain scores were correlated. RESULTS: Both exercise protocols produced DOMS in all subjects. The best correlation was between change in creatinine kinase level and volume of muscle edema on MR images, regardless of the workload. Correlations tended to be better with the easier exercise protocol. CONCLUSION: Whereas many previous studies of DOMS focused on intense exercise protocols to ensure positive results, the present investigation showed that submaximal workloads are adequate to produce DOMS and that correlations between conventionally measured indexes of injury may be enhanced at lighter exercise intensities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-820
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • Athletic injuries
  • Extremities, edema
  • Extremities, injuries
  • Muscles, injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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