Muscle Pain During and Following Exercise

Christopher D. Black

in The Oxford Handbook of Exercise Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394313
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Muscle Pain During and Following Exercise

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  • Health Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



This chapter discusses the psychobiology of muscle pain during and following exercise. The chapter includes a general discussion of peripheral nociceptive inputs from noxious biochemicals and mechanical pressure as well as a discussion of central nociceptive processing in spinal and supraspinal areas. Descending modulation of pain via endogenous opioids is also discussed. Particular attention is paid to likely mechanisms of muscle pain during exercise and delayed-onset soreness following exercise. A second section of the chapter covers commonly used methods for assessing muscle pain, such as questionnaires and measures of pain threshold, pain tolerance, and pain intensity. The final section discusses individual attributes and treatment modalities that may affect pain perception. Included are specific discussions on the repeated-bout effect, differences in pain perceptions between men and women, analgesia after exercise, and pharmacological and other commonly employed treatments for pain, such as massage, ice, and heat.

Keywords: muscle pain; delayed-onset muscle soreness; exercise; pain threshold; pain tolerance

Article.  18092 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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