Ohio – For sore muscles following exercise, there is not a prescription for the
number of days, length of time and pressure of a massage to relieve pain
following the injury.
from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center confirms for the first
time the measurable effects of massage-like pressure on the recovery of muscle
fiber damage. The study
was published this week online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
research proved the early healing affects of massage after injury results in
less swelling and fewer signs of inflammation. The latest research sought to
determine massage parameters, including pressure, duration and timing.
“We found if
damaged muscle is massaged right away – for 15 minutes – there is a 20 to 40
percent chance of recovery. Initial injury in the animal model was extended if
massage did not take place within 24 hours,” said Dr. Thomas
Best, co-director of OSU Sports
popularity of massage use by athletes, Best’s ongoing research is the first
evidence as to how massage therapy can reduce muscle pain and weakness
associated with exercise, and provides potential guidelines for future clinical
excited about the clinical implications of this research,” said Best. “After
testing in humans, we’ll potentially be able to prescribe specifics for massage
to help exercise-induced muscle injury in athletes.”
Best and his
team worked with Yi Zhao,
assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Ohio State, who created
mechanical devices that mimic a massaging motion on affected muscles from
mimics movements associated with exercise, and a second device simulates
consistent massaging motion on the affected muscles. They compared several
tests of different frequency, pressure and duration to assess the amount of
machines helped demonstrate the amount of force applied to the muscles matters
significantly more than the amount of time it is massaged by allowing
researchers to control how much pressure is being applied. He determined the
appropriate measurements to apply to the muscle, which was intended to match
the pressure of Swedish massage.
translated what we thought was going on in humans, largely based on
self-reporting, into the laboratory and designed the instrumentation to apply
controllable and measurable forces,” said Best, who finds engineering often
provides the best remedy for health care challenges.
able to gather objective evidence without confounding variables such as pain
and motivation,” said Zhao.
was funded by the National Institutes of
Health and the Ohio State University Pomerene Chair in Family
Medicine, held by Best.
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Click here for a high quality JPEG of Dr. Thomas Best.
Gina Bericchia, Medical Center Public Affairs & Media Relations, Gina.Bericchia@osumc.edu or