Researchers find massage after exercise calms those aches and pains
Feeling achy and sore from that intense exercise routine you may just want to go and grab a massage which could be just as effective as that aspirin your about to take.
Ontario and California researchers have discovered clear molecular signs that those overworked muscles cells respond well when having a massage.
Dr. Mark Tranoplsky, M.D., PhD., FRCD, Professor and Division Head of Neuromuscular and Neurometabolic Disorders in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University and lead author of study, had stated that this discovery provides strong evidence that massage merits further as a treatment for injuries and chronic disorders. For decades Dr. Tamopolsky, has studied the cellular effects of exercise.
Researchers recruited eleven active men to take part in a intense workout that strained their quadriceps (muscles at front of thigh). After the intense workout participants had received a ten minute massage just on one thigh leaving the other thigh with no massage.
Afterward, researchers had taken a muscle biopsy from both legs of all participants after the massage and once again 2.5 hours later. Researchers then compared the tissues from both legs.
Researchers had found that massage therapy had reduced exercise inflammation by dampening the activity of the protein NF-kB.
Massage had also appeared to help another protein PGC-1alpha, by helping cells recover by boosting the amounts of the protein. PGC-1alpha which triggers production of new mitochondria often called powerhouse of the cell that is responsible for energy production and adapting to endurance exercise. Justin Crane, doctoral student, department of kinesiology at McMaster in Hamilton, stated that such growth would facilitate muscle refurbishment as based on hints of the study.
Massage and other alternative therapies are used by millions but the therapies still have those that are skeptical of their benefits. Researchers note this could be due partly because studies of these techniques often measure benefits subjectively or lack biological evidence of an effect.
However, if these biological changes account for all of massages pain relief remains unclear. Lowering inflammation can reduce pain according to Crane who adds massaging sore muscles may also involve the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters. As Crane states “We really have no idea.”
Dr. Mary Hardy, M.D., UCLA alternative medicine expert and not involved in the study had noted that if further studies show positive results it could encourage more medical plan to pay for massage therapy. She further mentions "This kind of work should be useful in getting these therapies reimbursed.”
Dr. Thomas Birk, PhD, PT, associate professor of physical therapy at Wayne State University, Detroit, who has studied the physiological effects of massage in patients with HIV, had stated that the study was the first he had seen that drilled down to cellular basics.
Dr. Simon Melov, PhD, studies biology of aging at Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California, co-author of study and collaborates with Dr. Tranoplsy frequently stated that initially he thought the idea was crazy but now researchers have identified how massage reduces inflammation. He is eager to see how it may be used to compliment or replace anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen in treating injury.
The study however, did cast doubt on one theory being lactic acids builds up in hard worked muscles and some believe massage moves it our to the worked muscle. The study showed massaged legs had no difference in lactic acid than the untreated legs.
Either way it appears that massage is good after that strenuous workout.