ArticlePDF AvailableLiterature Review

Abstract

The science of sports massage is of interest to many populations including athletes, athletic trainers, coaches, as well as sports physiologists. While evidence to support or refute the effects of massage on sports performance is insufficient to make definitive statements, new reports and trends within data help formulate an understanding of sports massage. This article will review sports massage research on topics including lactate clearance, delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS), muscle fatigue, the psychological effect of massage, and injury prevention and treatment. Articles referenced in Medline, Cochrane Database, the authors library, and references from articles are included in this review. Most studies contain methodological limitations including inadequate therapist training, insufficient duration of treatment, few subjects, or over or under working of muscles that limit a practical conclusion. Muscle soreness associated with DOMS is reduced with massage, although whether force recovers more quickly is still unclear. The research literature to date is insufficient to conclude whether massage facilitates recovery from a fatiguing effort. Both tissue healing and a psychological effect of massage are areas that may prove promising with further research. Results from published literature support a positive trend for massage to benefit athletic recovery and performance; a need for further research into sports massage, especially well-designed studies utilizing therapists specifically trained to administer this type of therapy, is warranted.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Sports massage: A comprehensive review
A Moraska
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness; Sep 2005; 45, 3;
ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source
pg. 370
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
... Sports massage is predominantly based on the techniques based on the Swedish massage techniques and includes manipulations such as slips-kneading, kneading, twisting, percussion, and vibration [1,2]. The main difference between sports and classic massage is that the two forms of massage serve different purposes and are therefore applied differently. ...
... In addition, there are manipulations, such as stripping massage (i.e. special transverse-friction massage), that are used almost exclusively in the rehabilitation of sports injuries [1,2]. The effects and goals of sports massage are divided according to the mechanical, physiological, nervous, reflexive, and psychological outcomes. ...
... Proper alignment and reduction of the amount of hard connective tissue in the injured area reduces the loss of elasticity and strength experienced in the presence of adhesions [1,2,80], thus reducing the risk of the recurrence of injury [2]. In addition, massage can "dissolve" fibrous deposits that can impede the flow of interstitial fluid by clogging tiny pores of the fascia, which restores the circulation of interstitial fluid [3]. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Participation in sports, in addition to its positive effects, leads to injuries caused by contact with the opponent or the high loads that develop on the musculoskeletal structures during the sports activities. Sports injuries mainly include (a) acute injuries such as muscle strains and ligament sprains, tendon injuries, dislocations and subluxations, fractures, and skin injuries but also (b) overuse injuries such as tendinopathies and painful myofascial syndromes. Many therapeutic techniques are used to treat these injuries, such as therapeutic exercise, various electrotherapy procedures and soft tissue techniques. Soft tissue techniques aim to promote health and well-being through their mechanical effects on the body’s soft tissues such as friction, compression, tissues sliding and myofascial release. Sports soft-tissue procedures are applied either directly with the hands of therapists such as classical massage or with the use of special equipment such as tools made of stainless steel (ERGON instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization), elastic ischemic bandages (Kinetic flossing technique) and cups (cupping therapy). The following chapter analyzes the therapeutic effects of the above therapeutic interventions by presenting recent scientific evidence that supports their effects on the soft tissue’s dysfunctions of the human body and various pathological conditions.
... There is strong evidence supporting the association between the use of different post-exercise recovery methods and improvements in several markers of physical performance. Sleep optimization, massage, cold immersion, compression garments, and foam rollers have been shown to be effective for the recovery of athletes of various sports [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]. Effective recovery reduces injury rates and can improve performance; however, the development and implementation of effective methods of recovery is a challenge for experts working with track and field athletes. ...
... These methods can increase range of motion, elasticity, general relaxation, and reduce intensity of DOMS and anxiety. All these benefits provided by massage are believed to improve athletes' performance and reduce their risk of injury [3,4]. However, it is obvious that in addition to modifying the load in such situations, elite athletes also use other methods to minimize DOMS and recover as quickly as possible. ...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Bezuglov, E.; Lazarev, A.; Khaitin, V.; Chegin, S.; Tikhonova, A.; Talibov, O.; Gerasimuk, D.; Waśkiewicz, Z. The Prevalence of Use of Various Post-Exercise Recovery Methods after Training among Elite Endurance Athletes. Int. J. Environ. Abstract: There is now compelling evidence of the effectiveness of a range of post-exercise recovery techniques, including extended nights of sleep, cold water immersion, massage, and compression garments. Currently, limited information is available on post-exercise recovery methods used by elite endurance athletes. Therefore, this study investigated the actual methods of recovery used in this group of athletes. Google Forms were used to collect information on the recovery methods used by elite endurance track and field athletes (n = 153, 61.4% men, 38.6% women; average age: 22.7 ± 4.6 years). The most used methods of recovery were sauna bathing (96.7%), massage (86.9%), daytime nap (81.0%), and long night sleep (at least 9h) (61.4%). Recovery methods with proven effectiveness such as cold water immersion and compression garments were rarely used (15.0% and 7.8%, respectively). Overall, recovery methods were used more often when the tiers of the track and field athletes were higher. Massage and sauna bathing were the most used methods of post-exercise recovery among Russian endurance track and field athletes. In most cases, they were used in conjunction with short daytime nap and long night sleep. Higher tier athletes were more likely to use sauna bathing, massage, long night sleep, and daytime nap but not cold water immersion and compression garments as recovery methods; however, all these methods except for cold water immersion were widely used among elite-tier athletes.
... Massage wird in der leistungssportlichen Praxis häufig eingesetzt, sowohl mit dem Ziel einer beschleunigten Erholung als auch zur Vorbereitung auf einen Wettkampf sowie zur Prävention und Rehabilitation von Verletzungen (Moraska, 2005). Eine Umfrage unter 32 Physiotherapeuten professioneller Fußballmannschaften ergab, dass 78 % von ihnen regelmäßig Massage zur Regeneration einsetzen . ...
... In den letzten Jahren wurden mehrere Übersichtsartikel zur Massage als regenerationsfördernde Maßnahme veröffentlicht (Best et al., 2008;Moraska, 2005;Weerapong et al., 2005). Der Konsens ist, dass Massage zwar eine beliebte und häufig eingesetzte Regenerationsmaßnahme ist (Pearcey et al., 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Das Regenerationsmanagement im Leistungssport umfasst die Abschätzung von Ermüdungszustand und Regenerationsbedarf (Teil 1 dieser Beitragsreihe) sowie den Einsatz regenerationsfördernder Maßnahmen (Teil 2 dieser Beitragsreihe). Die Erfassung des Regenerationsbedarfs erfolgt durch die Dokumentation der externen Trainings- und Wettkampfbelastung, der damit einhergehenden internen Beanspruchung und der resultierenden Leistungsveränderung. Hierzu sind zahlreiche Surrogat-Parameter verfügbar (z. B. Laborparameter, sportmotorische Tests und psychometrische Verfahren). Diese sollten sensitiv für unterschiedliche Belastungsformen und Dimensionen der Ermüdung, ausreichend reliabel und objektiv, kostengünstig und praktikabel sowie engmaschig durchführbar und demnach nicht zu belastend sein. Für die Beurteilung des Regenerationsbedarfs einzelner Athleten sind neben einer individualisierten Interpretation der Surrogat-Parameter stets auch der vertrauensvolle Diskurs zwischen Athleten und deren Betreuerstab erforderlich.
... What causes in these players a thirst for performance in vertical jump. Massage provides very interesting benefits in the preparation of an effort, in the prevention of injuries and in post-exercise recovery (Moraska et al., 2005). According to Peck (Peck et al., 2014), massage helps maintain athlete health and increase performance. ...
... We deduce that the massage with the warm-up significantly increases the vertical relaxation of the players. This confirms the results of Drust (Drust et al., 2003) and Moraska (Moraska et al., 2005) who showed that one of the first goals of toning massage is to raise muscle temperature to recover the effects of active heating and that it increases skin and intramuscular temperature of the quadriceps up to 2.5 cm deep after a light touch, but this remains much lower during active heating. ...
Article
Full-text available
The use of sports massage as part of passive warm-up is a practice that has been trivialized by many clubs, which consider that massage is only useful in the context of recovery or rehabilitation. The aim of this study is to check if the massage before warming up further increases the vertical relaxation in basketball players from Zou. 57 players were selected including 13 players from Flambeau Abomey; 15 Lumière players from Abomey and 29 players from Olympic of Bohicon using the simple random method by reasoned choice. Our players are aware of the existence of massage but not as passive warm-up. Without warming up or massage our subjects have on average 43.19 cm of relaxation. After the players warmed up without being massaged we observed an increase in relaxation of an average of 48.96cm and 50.61cm when the players massaged and warmed up. The results of our study reveal that massage before heating further increases the vertical relaxation of basketball players from Zou, Benin.
... Regarding the massage, it should be mentioned that, for thousands of years, massage has been in use; however, more recently, it has been used in rehabilitation. 1 Some literatures support a positive trend for massage to benefit athletic recovery and performance. 2 It has been reported that massage improved grip strength in the carpal tunnel syndrome. 3 The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome were also relieved by massage. ...
... 17,21,[29][30][31] In contrast, many studies reported improvement in muscle performance following massage. [2][3][4][5][9][10][11][12]22,23 It appears that factors such as target muscles, immediate or long-term effects, and athletic participants or nonathletic participants may influence the effectiveness of massage on muscle performance. In the present study, massage was not used for large muscles; rather, it was applied to the forearm and hand muscles. ...
... Since creatine inhibits the release of enzymes out of the cell membrane by increasing membrane stability, it can be concluded that creatine intake may inhibit the increase in CK activity (62). Regarding the effects of cupping therapy, in most sports, the volume and intensity of pressure on athletes is so great that it causes musculoskeletal injuries, waste accumulation, depletion of energy, and also disrupts the mechanism of the immune system (64). Therefore, recovery-related tasks are as important as physical activity, because insufficient recovery of the body's functional capacities during training or competition activities reduces the athlete's ability to work (65). ...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: To evaluate the effects of dry cupping therapy (DCT) and creatine supplementation (CS) on cardiovascular and inflammatory responses to the Wingate test. Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, 12 male handball young players were selected in a crossover design. Players were studied in four conditions: DCT; CS; CS+DCT, control. In all conditions, blood pressure, heart-rate, and body composition were measured pre- and post- Wingate test. Players were assessed by the Wingate test in two 30-second phases with a 1-minute break between the phases. Blood [lactate-dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine phosphokinase (CK)] was drawn pre- and immediately post- the Wingate test. In players with CS condition, 60 g of creatine was consumed per day in three consecutive days prior to the study (3 meals of 20 g in morning, noon, and night). The DCT was performed after Wingate test to consider its possible effects for alleviating the muscle injury markers. Data were evaluated using analysis of covariance followed by a post-hoc Bonferoni test. Results: The heart-rate’ means in DCT, CS and CS+DCT conditions were lower compared to the control-condition (p<0.05). The CK’ means in DCT and CS+DCT conditions were lower compared to the control-condition (p<0.05). The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure and LDH in the four conditions were similar (p>0.05). Conclusion: DCT and CS lead to beneficial effects on cardiovascular function, including changes in heart-rate as well as blood biomarkers among handball players following the Wingate test.
... La densidad del calendario deportivo, el número de sesiones necesarias para mantener un elevado nivel competitivo, sumado a las horas de viaje, no permite una recuperación optima (Delextrat, Trochym, & Calleja-González, 2012). Por lo tanto, recuperarse más rápido después del entrenamiento y la competencia se convierte en un desafío central en la práctica del Básquetbol en la actualidad (Moraska, 2005). La recuperación en el deporte está definida como un proceso de 2 etapas, devolver al sujeto su rendimiento perdido por el estado de fatiga lo antes posible y adaptarse o supercompensar a las demandas de entrenamiento o competición (Sands et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The aim of this study was to compare different post-exercise recovery protocols and determine their influence on physical performance (CMJ, RSAT) and general wellness (BG) at 24 h.Materials and methods:Thirty-two trained adolescent basketball players (15.1 ± 1.3 years, 64.1 ± 17.4 kg, 170.05 ± 10.73 cm) were evaluated. The sample was randomly divided into three groups, Stretching (EST=11), Stretching + Foam Rolling (EST+FR=11) and Stretching + Foam Rolling + Immersion in cold water (EST+FR+INM=10). After inducing fatigue, each group was given a different recovery protocol. Countermovement jump (CMJ), ability to repeat sprints (RSAT) and general well-being (BG) were evaluated pre and post intervention. Results: Muscle pain showed a significant increase in the EST+FM+INM group 24h after the experimental intervention (t (2,29) = -3.820; p = 0.01; 95% CI (0.22 to 2.57 AU). No differences were found between groups (intervention) or moments (pre vs post) of any other study variable. Conclusions: In conclusion, when the replenishment of fluids and energy substrates after exercise is guaranteed, the combination of EST, FR and INM is not more effective in recovering the baseline values of performance and general Wellness in adolescent male basketball players. However, a trend towards improvement is observed when recovery methods are added to the protocols, but it does not reach statistical significance.
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to improve the athlete's performance from the physiological aspect by knowing the differences in the response of sport massage and swedish massage with variations in pressure (light, medium, and heavy) on the hind limbs a 30 m running speed taken four times. This research is a quasi-experimental design, with the research subjects of POPDA Sleman athletic athletes with sample of 20 people. The sample was divided by matching pairs with the aim of both groups getting a balanced power. The treatments used are sports massage with movement manipulation (effleurage, tapotement, shaking/vibration) and swedish massage with movement manipulation (drainage, compression, tapotement, shaking/vibration) with pressure variation. The results showed that there were differences in the effect/good response of the type of sports massage treatment (group x) with moderate pressure. This is evidenced by the results of an increase in record time by an average of 0.36 seconds. Treatment of light pressure increased record time by an average of 0.28 seconds. Heavy pressure treatment increased record time by an average of 0.04 seconds. There is a difference in the effect/unfavorable response of the type of swedih massage treatment (group y) with all types of pressure, because it provides a decreased response time from pretest to posttest. It is proven by the decrease in the average time of 0.16 seconds on the light pressure treatment, the decrease in the average time of 0.24 seconds on the medium pressure treatment, and a decrease of 0.34 seconds on the heavy pressure treatment.
Preprint
Introduction: The aim of this study was to compare different post-excercise recovery protocols and determine their influence on physical performance, subjective perception of pain, and general wellness the day after. Materials and methods: 28 trained adolescent basketball players (15.1 ± 1.7 years, 65.8 ± 15.9 kg, 171.8 ± 11.4 cm) were evaluated. The sample was randomly divided into four groups, Control (CON = 4), Stretches (ST = 7), Stretches + Foam Rolling (ST + FR = 9) and Stretches + Foam Rolling + Cold water Immersion (EST + FR + CWI= 8). After inducing fatigue, each group was administered a different recovery post-exercise protocol. Counter movement jump (CMJ), delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), general wellness (W) and ability to repeat sprints (RSAT) were evaluated pre and post intervention. Results: In RSAT, differences were found between pre and post for TT (total time) in ST + FR + CWI group (p = 0.028). DOMS in ST group was lower than CON group (p = 0.012) and ST + FR + CWI group (p = 0.001), ES + FR group showed lower values than ST + FR group + INM (p = 0.041). Conclusions: The combination of ST, FR and CWI was more effective in the recovery and improvement of Sprint TT performance in adolescent male basketball players. The percentage improvements and the "medium" effect size in the CMJ variable would indicate an intervention to take into account in the recovery processes. The use of ST in isolation or in combination with FR produced significant reductions in DOMS
Article
Full-text available
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a familiar experience for the elite or novice athlete. Symptoms can range from muscle tenderness to severe debilitating pain. The mechanisms, treatment strategies, and impact on athletic performance remain uncertain, despite the high incidence of DOMS. DOMS is most prevalent at the beginning of the sporting season when athletes are returning to training following a period of reduced activity. DOMS is also common when athletes are first introduced to certain types of activities regardless of the time of year. Eccentric activities induce micro-injury at a greater frequency and severity than other types of muscle actions. The intensity and duration of exercise are also important factors in DOMS onset. Up to six hypothesised theories have been proposed for the mechanism of DOMS, namely: lactic acid, muscle spasm, connective tissue damage, muscle damage, inflammation and the enzyme efflux theories. However, an integration of two or more theories is likely to explain muscle soreness. DOMS can affect athletic performance by causing a reduction in joint range of motion, shock attenuation and peak torque. Alterations in muscle sequencing and recruitment patterns may also occur, causing unaccustomed stress to be placed on muscle ligaments and tendons. These compensatory mechanisms may increase the risk of further injury if a premature return to sport is attempted. A number of treatment strategies have been introduced to help alleviate the severity of DOMS and to restore the maximal function of the muscles as rapidly as possible. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have demonstrated dosage-dependent effects that may also be influenced by the time of administration. Similarly, massage has shown varying results that may be attributed to the time of massage application and the type of massage technique used. Cryotherapy, stretching, homeopathy, ultrasound and electrical current modalities have demonstrated no effect on the alleviation of muscle soreness or other DOMS symptoms. Exercise is the most effective means of alleviating pain during DOMS, however the analgesic effect is also temporary. Athletes who must train on a daily basis should be encouraged to reduce the intensity and duration of exercise for 1–2 days following intense DOMS-inducing exercise. Alternatively, exercises targeting less affected body parts should be encouraged in order to allow the most affected muscle groups to recover. Eccentric exercises or novel activities should be introduced progressively over a period of 1 or 2 weeks at the beginning of, or during, the sporting season in order to reduce the level of physical impairment and/or training disruption. There are still many unanswered questions relating to DOMS, and many potential areas for future research.
Article
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the physiological and psychological effects of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Methods: Eighteen volunteers were randomly assigned to either a massage or control group. DOMS was induced with six sets of eight maximal eccentric contractions of the right hamstring, which were followed 2 h later by 20 min of massage or sham massage (control). Peak torque and mood were assessed at 2, 6, 24, and 48 h postexercise. Range of motion (ROM) and intensity and unpleasantness of soreness were assessed at 6, 24, and 48 h postexercise. Neutrophil count was assessed at 6 and 24 h postexercise. Results: A two factor ANOVA (treatment v time) with repeated measures on the second factor showed no significant treatment differences for peak torque, ROM, neutrophils, unpleasantness of soreness, and mood (p > 0.05). The intensity of soreness, however, was significantly lower in the massage group relative to the control group at 48 h postexercise (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Massage administered 2 h after exercise induced muscle injury did not improve hamstring function but did reduce the intensity of soreness 48 h after muscle insult.
Article
Muscle cramp is a common, painful, physiological disturbance of skeletal muscle. Many athletes are regularly frustrated by exercise-induced muscle cramp yet the pathogenesis remains speculative with little scientific research on the subject. This has resulted in a perpetuation of myths as to the cause and treatment of it. There is a need for scientifically based protocols for the management of athletes who suffer exercise-related muscle cramp. This article reviews the literature and neurophysiology of muscle cramp occurring during exercise. Disturbances at various levels of the central and peripheral nervous system and skeletal muscle are likely to be involved in the mechanism of cramp and may explain the diverse range of conditions in which cramp occurs. The activity of the motor neuron is subject to a multitude of influences including peripheral receptor sensory input, spinal reflexes, inhibitory interneurons in the spinal cord, synaptic and neurotransmitter modulation and descending CNS input. The muscle spindle and golgi tendon organ proprioceptors are fundamental to the control of muscle length and tone and the maintenance of posture. Disturbance in the activity of these receptors may occur through faulty posture, shortened muscle length, intense exercise and exercise to fatigue, resulting in increased motor neuron activity and motor unit recruitment. The relaxation phase of muscle contraction is prolonged in a fatigued muscle, raising the likelihood of fused summation of action potentials if motor neuron activity delivers a sustained high firing frequency. Treatment of cramp is directed at reducing muscle spindle and motor neuron activity by reflex inhibition and afferent stimulation. There are no proven strategies for the prevention of exercise-induced muscle cramp but regular muscle stretching using post-isometric relaxation techniques, correction of muscle balance and posture, adequate conditioning for the activity, mental preparation for competition and avoiding provocative drugs may be beneficial. Other strategies such as incorporating plyometrics or eccentric muscle strengthening into training programmes, maintaining adequate carbohydrate reserves during competition or treating myofascial trigger points are speculative and require investigation.
Article
Examined the relationship between exercise, massage, and positive mood enhancement in 183 university students in physical education classes including swimming, jogging, tennis, and racquetball. Ss from other classes made up a control rest condition and a massage treatment condition resulting in a 1-way design. Data from pre- and postexercise measures indicate that the running and massage conditions consistently produced positive mood enhancement with significant decreases in tension, confusion, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and anger while maintaining high levels of vigor, which is representative of positive mental health. Practical applications of the use of massage both before and after competition and exercise are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Although there have been frequent claims in the popular sports literature about the benefits of massage for the athlete, there is meager scientific evidence documenting the beneficial effects of massage. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of sports massage on lactate disappearance following short-term, exhaustive work. Twenty-two male subjects were randomly allocated to three groups following an exhaustive treadmill run. Group 1 recovered passively, Group 2 recovered while riding a stationary bicycle at 40% [latin capital V with dot above]O2max, and Group 3 recovered while having their legs massaged. Recovery lasted 20 min for all groups. Blood was sampled and lactate was determined at rest and at 3, 5, 9, 15, and 20 min postexercise. There were no differences among the groups for blood lactate at rest or 3, 5, or 9 min postexercise. The bicycle recovery group had significantly lower lactate levels than the passive recovery group at 15 and 20 min postexercise. It was concluded that (a) massage following exercise did not remove lactate better than passive recovery in a supine position, and (b) massage following exercise did not remove lactate as well as cycling at 40% of [latin capital V with dot above]O2max. (C) 1993 National Strength and Conditioning Association
Article
Stretching recommendations are clouded by misconceptions and conflicting research reports. This review of the current literature on stretching and range-of-motion increases finds that one static stretch of 15 to 30 seconds per day is sufficient for most patients, but some require longer durations. Heat and ice improve the effectiveness of static stretching only if applied during the stretch. Physicians should know the demands of different stretching techniques on muscles when making recommendations to patients. An individualized approach may be most effective based on intersubject variation and differences between healthy and injured tissues.
Article
This study was designed to measure the effect on range of motion of a single massage treatment to the hamstring muscle group. Thirty-four normal female subjects between 18 and 35 years of age were given a 9- 12 minute massage treatment to the posterior aspect of one randomly assigned lower extremity. Passive range of motion of both lower extremities was measured by taking the perpendicular distance from the lateral malleolus to the table surface in a straight leg raise and by conventional goniometry for hip flexion and knee extension. Measurements were taken pre-, and post-, and 7-days postmassage treatment. Immediate postmassage increases in range of motion were noted in the test group (massaged) legs with significance at the 0.05 level. The possible uSe of this treatment in athletics and pathological conditions are discussed. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1984;6(3):168-172.