Changes in serum creatine kinase, leg muscle tightness, and delayed onset muscle soreness after a full marathon race

Michio Tojima, Kensuke Noma, Suguru Torii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Muscle tightness (MT) is believed to be an important cause of injury for runners. This study evaluated the change of serum creatine kinase (CK), MT in the leg muscles, and delayed onset muscle soreness after running. METHODS: We evaluated 11 college students who completed a full marathon race. Participants completed a questionnaire on the right quadriceps muscle soreness. The CK activity and MT (iliopsoas, rectus femoris, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles) were measured. The time points for CK measurements were before; immediately after; and at 1, 2, and 5 days after the race. The time points for MT measurements were the same as for CK except MT was not measured one day after the race. The time points for muscle soreness analysis were before the race and then every morning and night for 5 days after the race. RESULTS: Long-distance running led to significant increases in CK, MT, and muscle soreness. The CK levels peaked day 1 after the race. MT of iliopsoas peaked on day 5; of rectus femoris immediately after the race; and of hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and soleus on day 2. muscle soreness peaked at night on day 1. MT did not decrease to the pre-race levels on day 5. There were no significant changes but CK tended to correlate with the peak of MT of the rectus femoris (r=0.55, P=0.082) and hamstrings (r=0.57, P=0.065). CONCLUSIONS: Long-distance running may cause muscle fiber microdamage that may consequently increase CK, MT, and muscle soreness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-788
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1



  • Creatine kinase
  • Muscle tonus
  • Myalgia
  • Quadriceps muscle
  • Running

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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