Sports massage of little physical benefit

March 28, 2000

Effects of massage on physiological restoration, perceived recovery, and related sports performance 2000;34:109-15

Massage, widely used by athletes to speed up muscle recovery after sporting performance, confers little physical advantage, although it may be of some psychological benefit, says research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The effects of massage on muscle power were assessed in eight amateur boxers in their mid-20s by measuring blood glucose, lactate, and heart rate before and after two performances. Each performance lasted 10 minutes each and entailed 400 punches. After the first performance the boxers either had a 20 minute massage by a qualified sports therapist or 20 minutes of rest. The force of the punches was assessed in both performances.

Lactate is the substance released by muscles on prolonged exertion: its accumulation 'tires' the muscles and its dispersal into the bloodstream facilitates the recovery. Massage is thought to speed up blood flow, so aiding lactate dispersal.

Blood lactate levels were no lower after massage than when resting and massage was also unable to prevent a reduction in punch power during the second performance. The authors suggest that either blood flow was not affected by massage, or that it was not sufficiently increased. None of the other body indicators differed between the two groups. But the boxers who had been given a massage felt significantly better than those assigned to rest.
-end-
Contact:

Dr Brian Hemmings, Division of Sports Studies, University College Northampton.
Brian.Hemmings@northampton.ac.uk

BMJ Specialty Journals

Related Blood Flow Articles from Brightsurf:

Brain regions with impaired blood flow have higher tau levels
In Alzheimer's disease, impaired blood flow to brain regions coincides with tau protein buildup.

3D ultrasound enables accurate, noninvasive measurements of blood flow
A 3D ultrasound system provides an effective, noninvasive way to estimate blood flow that retains its accuracy across different equipment, operators and facilities, according to a new study.

Blood flow recovers faster than brain in micro strokes
Work by a Rice neurobiologist shows that increased blood flow to the brain is not an accurate indicator of neuronal recovery after a microscopic stroke.

Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain
Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory.

3D VR blood flow to improve cardiovascular care
Biomedical engineers are developing a massive fluid dynamics simulator that can model blood flow through the full human arterial system at subcellular resolution.

MRI shows blood flow differs in men and women
Healthy men and women have different blood flow characteristics in their hearts, according to a new study.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

Blood flow monitor could save lives
A tiny fibre-optic sensor has the potential to save lives in open heart surgery, and even during surgery on pre-term babies.

Changes in blood flow tell heart cells to regenerate
Altered blood flow resulting from heart injury switches on a communication cascade that reprograms heart cells and leads to heart regeneration in zebrafish.

Blood flow command center discovered in the brain
An international team of researchers has discovered a group of cells in the brain that may function as a 'master-controller' for the cardiovascular system, orchestrating the control of blood flow to different parts of the body.

Read More: Blood Flow News and Blood Flow Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.