Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Miller

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher Cheatham

Third Advisor

Dr. Timothy Michael

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robert Baker

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


Purpose: To examine the effects of multiple dexamethasone iontophoresis treatments on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) by evaluating muscle damage and inflammatory blood markers of creatine kinase (CK) and interleukin-6 (IL-6); pain using a visual analog scale (VAS) and an algometer strain gauge (ASG). Methods: Twenty untrained subjects (age, 23.55 ± 3.03yr; height, 175.24 ± 8.76cm; weight, 90.27 ± 17.78kg), assigned to either a dexamethasone or saline group, performed eccentric bicep brachii curls on the non-dominant arm. Baseline measurements included VAS, ASG, and a blood draw to evaluate CK and IL-6 levels. Following exercise, 10 subjects received an iontophoresis treatment of dexamethasone (Dex. group) while ten control subjects received a saline solution (Placebo group). Subjects were given the same iontophoresis treatment immediately, 24, and 48h after eccentric exercise. Dependant variables were evaluated again at 24, 48, and 72h post-exercise. Results: No significant differences were found between treatments and CK (Placebo = 379.7 ± 189.7 UI·L·1, Dex. = 561.8 ± 189.7 UI·L·1;p=0.506), IL-6 (Placebo 0.1 ± 0.0 μ/mL, Dex.= 0.2 ± 0.0 μ/mL; p=0.85), VAS (Placebo = 2.3 ± 0.3 cm, Dex. = 1. 7 ± 0.3 cm; p=0.198), and ASG (Placebo = 1.9 ± 0.2 kg, Dex.= 1.8 ± 0.2 kg; p=0.806). Conclusion: Dexamethasone iontophoresis does not appear to be effective in alleviating acute muscle injury or pain.

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