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Massage Abstracts Related to Recovery

Does post-exercise massage treatment reduce delayed onset muscle soreness? A systematic review.

Ernst E
Br J Sports Med 1998 Sep 32:3 212-4

BACKGROUND: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a frequent problem after unaccustomed exercise. No universally accepted treatment exists. Massage therapy is often recommended for this condition but uncertainty exists about its effectiveness. AIM: To determine whether post-exercise massage alleviates the symptoms of DOMS after a bout of strenuous exercise. METHOD: Various computerised literature searches were carried out and located seven controlled trials. RESULTS: Most of the trials were burdened with serious methodological flaws, and their results are far from uniform. However, most suggest that post-exercise massage may alleviate symptoms of DOMS.

CONCLUSIONS: Massage therapy may be a promising treatment for DOMS. Definitive studies are warranted.

Author Address: Department of Complementary Medicine, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter, United Kingdom.

Zainuddin, Z., Newton, M., Sacco, P. & Nosaka, K. (2005).

Effects of massage on delayed-onset muscle soreness, swelling, and recovery of muscle function.

J Athl Train, 40, 174-80.

METHOD: This study tested the hypothesis that massage applied after eccentric exercise would effectively alleviate delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) without affecting muscle function. We used an arm-to-arm comparison model with 2 independent variables (control and massage) and 6 dependent variables (maximal isometric and isokinetic voluntary strength, range of motion, upper arm circumference, plasma creatine kinase activity, and muscle soreness). A 2-way repeated-measures analysis of variance and paired t-tests were used to examine differences in changes of the dependent variable over time between control and massage conditions. Ten healthy subjects with no history of upper arm injury and no experience in resistance training, performed 10 sets of 6 maximal isokinetic eccentric actions of the elbow flexors with each arm on a dynamometer, separated by 2 weeks. One arm received 10 minutes of massage 3 hours after eccentric exercise; the contralateral arm received no treatment.

RESULTS: Delayed-onset muscle soreness was significantly less for the massage condition for peak soreness in extending the elbow joint and palpating the brachioradialis muscle. Soreness while flexing the elbow joint and palpating the brachialis muscle was also less with massage. Massage treatment had significant effects on plasma creatine kinase activity, with a significantly lower peak value at 4 days postexercise , and upper arm circumference, with a significantly smaller increase than the control at 3 and 4 days postexercise.

Robertson, A., Watt, J.M. & Galloway, S.D. (2004).

Effects of leg massage on recovery from high intensity cycling exercise.

Br J Sports Med, 4 ,173-6.

METHODS: Nine male games players participated. They attended the laboratory on two occasions one week apart and at the same time of day. Dietary intake and activity were replicated for the two preceding days on each occasion. After baseline measurement of heart rate and blood lactate concentration, subjects performed a standardised warm up on the cycle ergometer. This was followed by six standardised 30 second high intensity exercise bouts, interspersed with 30 seconds of active recovery. After five minutes of active recovery and either 20 minutes of leg massage or supine passive rest, subjects performed a second standardised warm up and a 30 second Wingate test. Capillary blood samples were drawn at intervals, and heart rate, peak power, mean power, and fatigue index were recorded.

RESULTS: Significantly lower fatigue index was observed in the massage trial.

Smith, L. L., Keating, M. N., Holbert, D., Spratt, D. J., McCammon, M. R., Smith, S. S., and Israel, R. G. (1994).

The effects of athletic massage on delayed onset muscle soreness, creatine kinase, and neutrophil count: a preliminary report.

Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 19, 93-99.

METHOD: It was hypothesized that athletic massage administered 2 hours after eccentric exercise would disrupt an initial crucial event in acute inflammation, the accumulation of neutrophils. This would result in a diminished inflammatory response and a concomitant reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and serum creatine kinase (CK). Untrained males were randomly assigned to a massage or control group. All performed five sets of isokinetic eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors and extensors. Two hours after exercise, massage subjects received a 30-minute athletic massage; control subjects rested. Delayed onset muscle soreness and CK were assessed before exercise and at 8, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours after exercise. Circulating neutrophils were assessed before and immediately after exercise, and at 30-minute intervals for 8 hours; cortisol was assessed before and immediately after exercise, and at 30-minute intervals for 8 hours; CK was assessed at similar times.

RESULTS: A trend analysis revealed a significant treatment by time interaction effect for 1) DOMS, with the massage group reporting reduced levels; 2) CK, with the massage group displaying reduced levels; 3) neutrophils, with the massage group displaying a prolonged elevation; and 4) cortisol, with the massage group showing a diminished diurnal reduction. The results of this study suggest that sports massage will reduce DOMS and CK when administered 2 hours after the termination of eccentric exercise. This may be due to a reduced emigration of neutrophils and/or higher levels of serum cortisol.





Comparison of the early response to two methods of rehabilitation in adhesive capsulitis.

Swiss Med Wkly 2004 Jun 12;134(23-24):353-8 (ISSN: 1424-7860)

Guler-Uysal F; Kozanoglu E
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Adana, Turkey. .

PRINCIPLE: A randomised, comparative prospective clinical trial was planned to compare the early response to different rehabilitation methods for adhesive capsulitis taking into consideration the clinical efficacy and the cost effectiveness of the methods. METHODS: Forty patients with adhesive capsulitis were randomised into two treatment groups. The first group (CYR) received the Cyriax approach of deep friction massage and mobilisation exercises three times weekly. The second group (PT) had daily physical therapy including hot pack and short wave diathermy application. Both groups concluded their treatments with stretching exercises and were also instructed to a daily home exercise program. The primary end point of the study was to reach 80% of the normal passive range of motion (ROM) of the shoulder in all planes within a period of two weeks. Secondary end points were the overall ROM and pain response (spontaneous pain, night pain and pain with motion) to each treatment. RESULTS: 19 patients in the CYR group (95%) and 13 patients in the PT group (65%) reached sufficient ROM at the end of the second week (p <0.05). The improvement in shoulder flexion, inner and outer rotation values and the decrease in pain with motion were significantly better in the CYR group after the first week of treatment.

CONCLUSION: The Cyriax method of rehabilitation provides a faster and better response than the conventional physical therapy methods in the early phase of treatment in adhesive capsulitis. The method is non-invasive, effective and requires fewer hospital visits for a sufficient early response.


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