Exercise-induced muscle damageOne of the drawbacks (if there is one) of high intensity exercise is exercise-induced muscle damage. RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU This occurs from sudden active stretching of the muscle-tendon unit through unaccustomed or overtraining exercise and is frequently observed in athletes, weight lifters, recreational athletes, and ordinary persons who don’t exercise regularly (1). The damage that occurs in the muscle is characterized by pain, disturbed proprioception, decreases in strength and power, inflammation, and delayed onset muscle soreness (2). Such things as electrical stimulation, cryotherapy, massage and drugs are used to alleviate muscle damage (3) in order to help the healing process.
Why use massage?Therapeutic massage is often used as a treatment to recover from muscle fatigue or damage. The benefits of massage include an increase in local blood and lymph flow, decreased edema, reduces muscular tone and enhances mood (4). It’s also suggested massage decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases levels of serotonin and dopamine (5).
Recent evidence on massageA recent study was designed to identify the effects of massage on the gastrocnemius muscle following exercise-induced muscle damage. Results demonstrated that massage enhanced Electromyography (EMG) activity in the gastrocnemius muscle which resulted in changes of structure properties in the superficial layer of the gastrocnemius (6). Basically, the massage caused the muscle to work much more effectively. plays a crucial role in joint stability. Massage helped recover joint position sense can cause a decline in performance or possibly, a sports injury (8). Therefore, this research demonstrated that massage was effective to restore muscular strength and joint position sense following muscle damage. It’s believed that the mechanical action of massage may encourage a return to more normal muscle fiber alignment (i.e. healthier muscle tissue). This helps facilitate recovery of muscle function, overcomes fatigue and enhances performance (9).
SummaryIt’s clear that sports massage intended for exercise-induced muscle damage can improve proprioceptive accuracy and muscle strength due to changes in the superficial layer of the gastrocnemius muscle. Based on recent evidence, sports massage can be used as a beneficial tool after exercise-induced muscle damage. Connect with Expert Dr. Paul Henning. References:
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9. Ce E, Limonta E, Maggioni MA, Rampichini S, Veicsteinas A, Esposito F. Stretching and deep and superficial massage do not influence blood lactate levels after heavy-intensity cycle exercise. Journal of sports sciences. 2013;31(8):856-866.