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Pain Management Inflammation

Muscle Massage Reduces Inflammation

12 years, 3 months ago

9761  0
Posted on Mar 02, 2012, 6 a.m.

Heavily stressed muscles responded to massage therapy with a variety of biologic changes associated with reduced inflammation.

Massage therapy has been widely used during physical rehabilitation to reduce pain and promote recovery of injured muscle, but the biologic basis of the benefits of massage have remained unclear. Mark A. Tarnopolsky, from McMaster University (Canada), and colleagues, enrolled 11 healthy male volunteers, in which each subject completed a standardized 15-minute period of intense exercise. Immediately after completing the exercise, participants received 10 minutes of massage for one leg and no treatment for the other leg.  The researchers obtained specimens of participants' quadriceps at rest, immediately after massage, and after a 2.5-hour recovery period. Serial quadriceps-muscle biopsies showed reduced production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin-6 (IL-6) following massage treatment of exercise-induced muscle damage. Massage also was associated with activation of signaling pathways involved in stretch response.  The study authors conclude that: “when administered to skeletal muscle that has been acutely damaged through exercise, massage therapy appears to be clinically beneficial by reducing inflammation and promoting mitochondrial biogenesis.”

Justin D. Crane, Daniel I. Ogborn, Colleen Cupido, Simon Melov, Alan Hubbard, Jacqueline M. Bourgeois, Mark A. Tarnopolsky.  “Massage Therapy Attenuates Inflammatory Signaling After Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage.”   Sci Transl Med., 1 February 2012.

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