Delayed onset muscle soreness is muscular soreness and pain experienced 24 to 48 hours after a rigorous or unaccustomed session of exercise. Though DOMS is not considered a major injury, it compromises performance by decreasing range of motion, strength, and function. The severity of the symptoms leading to the decrease in performance has led to the investigation in treatment for DOMS.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Curcuma longa (turmeric) in reducing the signs and symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
Materials and Methods: Repeated eccentric contractions were used to induce DOMS in the elbow flexors of twenty-four (n = 24) untrained healthy volunteers. Subjects were then assigned randomly to one of four groups: (1) group 1 (n=6) as control group (2) group 2 (n=6) received physical therapy (3) group 3 (n=6) received physical therapy and turmeric cream supplementation, and (4) group 4 (n=6) received only turmeric cream supplementation. Then, the measurements for all groups were taken which included the muscle soreness (as measured by VAS), the resting elbow angle (in degrees), the biceps girth (in cm), the creatine Kinase level and the total leucocytic count (TLC) was tested among the four designated groups.
Result: A total number of 24 untrained subjects participated in the study within the age group of 18-30 years. The soreness was on its peak at 48 hours post exercise in both groups. The VAS ratings of elbow flexor soreness was greatly reduced after 96 hours in group 3 (physical therapy+ turmeric) subjects receiving physical therapy and turmeric application. The group 3 (physical therapy+ turmeric) showed least loss of resting elbow angle i.e., the elbow tended to remain as close as possible to the baseline measurement after 72 and 96 hours. No Significant differences were noted in the Biceps girth measurements. There was significant difference in the creatine kinase levels after 48 hours, 72 hours and 96 hours which was more evident in the group 3 with turmeric supplementation in conjunction with physical therapy.
Conclusion: Our result showed that local application of turmeric and physical therapy intervention produced more effect on DOMS than turmeric or physical therapy only. This indicates that turmeric can be useful alternative in management of DOMS by its effects on pain intensity and muscle injury.