Can Muscle Soreness After Intensive Work-related Activities Be Predicted?

Remko Soer*, Jan H. B. Geertzen, Cees P. van der Schans, Johan W. Groothoff, Michiel F. Reneman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives: It is currently unknown whether specific determinants are predictive for developing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after heavy work-related activities. The aim of this study was to analyze whether personal characteristics and performance measures are predictive for onset, intensity, and duration of DOMS after performing work-related activities during a Functional Capacity Evaluation in healthy participants.

Methods: Included in this study were 197 healthy participants (102 men, 95 women), all working within a broad range of professions, Five groups of predictors were tested in a multiple regression analysis model: personal variables, self-reported activity, self-reported health, perceived effort during the test, and objective Outcomes of the test. Twenty-three independent variables were selected and tested with a backward regression analysis.

Results: The onset of DOMS could be explained for 7% by the variables: sex and the work index of the Baecke questionnaire. Variance of intensity of DOMS could be explained for 13% by the variables: age, sex, and VO(2)max. Variance in duration of DOMS could be explained for 8% by the variables: sex and reported emotional role limitations. Onset, intensity, and duration of DOMS remain unpredictable for 87% or more.

Conclusions: The results demonstrate that the intensity and duration or self-reported DOMS can only minimally be predicted from the candidate predictors used in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalThe Clinical Journal of Pain
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • delayed onset muscle soreness
  • chronic pain
  • functional capacity evaluation
  • PAR-Q
  • PAIN

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