Effects of immobilization and active mobilization on recovery of muscle after eccentric exercise

Trevor C. Chen*, Kazunori Nosaka, Jung Charng Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study compared the effects of immobilization (IM) and active mobilization (AM) on recovery from eccentric exercise. Thirty-three college-age males were randomly placed into one of the three groups: IM (n = 11), AM (n = 11), and control (CON; n = 11). All subjects performed a bout of 50 maximal eccentric actions of the elbow flexors (ECC) using a dumbbell set at 100% of the pre-exercise maximal isometric force (MIF). Thirty minutes after ECC, subjects in the IM group had their elbow joint immobilized by a cast and secured in a sling at a joint angle of 90° for four days. Subjects in the AM group performed 50 biceps curl actions with a dumbbell (5 lb), 30 minutes post-ECC and one to four days after ECC. There was no treatment in the CON group. MIF, active range of motion (ROM), upper arm circumference (CIR), and muscle soreness were measured before, immediately after, and four to 10 days following ECC. Plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity was assessed before and for 10 days after ECC. All measures changed significantly (p < 0.05) after ECC for all groups, without significant differences immediately post-ECC. Recovery of MIF was faster for the AM and IM groups compared to CON (p < 0.05), whereas no differences among the groups were evident for muscle soreness and ROM. Both IM and AM groups showed smaller increases in CK compared to CON, and increases in CIR were also reduced for IM (p < 0.05). These results suggest that both IM and AM enhanced the recovery of MIF, and had an effect on CK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Muscle soreness
  • Plasma creatine kinase activity
  • Range of motion
  • Strength
  • Swelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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