Effects of sports massage on post-exercise muscle viscoelastic properties
Lim, Bibiana Sin Hwee
Date of Issue2015
School of Biological Sciences
Background: Massage is widely used by athletes who commonly advocate it as a method to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). However, the evidence supporting these assertions is poor. Aim: This study aims to investigate the effects of massage on viscoelastic properties (tension, elasticity, stiffness) of muscles and other secondary indicators of eccentric-exercise induced muscle damage. Methods: Three runners with no history of injury or surgery in the previous 3 months were recruited for a 60 minute downhill run to elicit muscle damage. After running, one leg was randomly assigned for massage with the other leg exposed to a placebo treatment (sham ultrasound). Results: Results showed a significant change in the stiffness of the hamstrings, DOMS scale, creatine kinase (CK) and leg flexion strength over the 96 hours (main effects of time, all p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference between the massaged or non-massaged leg for any measured variable (main effects of leg, all p>0.05) or in the pattern of response to any variable (leg x time interactions, all p>0.05). Conclusions: Massage does not have any effects on viscoelastic properties of muscle, but the study is limited by the small sample size.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University