How Massage heals sore muscles after exercise.

A massage after vigorous exercise unquestionably feels good, and it seems to reduce pain and help muscles recover. Many people — both athletes and health professionals – have long contended it eases inflammation, improves blood flow and reduces muscle tightness. But until now no one has understood why massage has this apparently beneficial effect.

Now researchers have found what happens to muscles when a Massage Therapist goes to work on them.

Their experiment required having people exercise to exhaustion and undergo five incisions in their legs in order to obtain muscle tissue for analysis to determine the results.

Vigorous exercise causes tiny tears in muscle fibers, leading to an immune reaction — inflammation — as the body gets to work repairing the injured cells.

Massage stimulates mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair. Differently from anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation and pain but may actually retard healing in the long term by suppressing the inflamation . Many people, for instance, pop a neurofen at the first sign of muscle soreness.

Massage will  suppress the inflammation and  enhance cell recovery.

This is important research, because it is the first I have seen to show that massage can reduce pro-inflammatory (cytokines) . We have known from many studies that pain can be reduced by massage based on self-report, but this is the first demonstration that the pain-related pro-inflammatory cytokines can be reduced.

 

 

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