New research proves the wide medical belief that massage helps improve muscle health in athletes following exercise-induced injury. Dr. Marvell Scott, sports medicine professional, provides further explanation on proper treatments.
Although the art of massage is an ancient technique, its medical implications are only now being fully assessed. According to a recent article from HealthNewsDigest.com, a new study from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center provides documented proof on the benefits massage has on damaged or stressed muscles. While the research was motivated by long-existing beliefs within the medical community, it is the first time that there is measurable evidence available that highlights the effects massage duration and pressure has on the affected muscle tissue. Dr. Marvell Scott, expert sports medicine professional and chiropractor, explains the use of massage within his own practice to further explain the results of this study.
While many medical professionals understand that massage has positive benefits on injured muscles following athletic stress, the gathered information only came from subject reports. With a partnership with the biomedical engineering department of TheOhio State University, the research team was able to use unique devices to monitor and measure the effects of varied massage on animal subjects. In the article, Dr. Thomas Best, co-director of OSU Sports Medicine and research leader, explains the results, “We have translated what we thought was going on in humans, largely based on self-reporting, into the laboratory and designed the instrumentation to apply controllable and measurable forces.”
Dr. Marvell Scott has witnessed the benefits of massage firsthand through treatment of patients at his practice known as the Performance Health Program. He applauds this particular research study, because it found a way to measure the results of pressure and duration of massage without having to involve subject motivation and pain. What Best and his colleagues discovered was that the harder the pressure of the massage, relative to the force of a Swedish massage, the more likely muscle fibers are able to heal. The article notes that while the duration of the massage does not have as much of an effect on the tissue, it is important to execute healing massages within 24 hours following the injury.
Although these results provide evidence of massage therapy advantages, the article does not necessarily explain how the technique is able to induce healing. Dr. Marvell Scott describes the process used in his practice, “The soft tissue massage helps reduce swelling and inflammation, while the deep tissue massage helps break up old adhesions in the deeper muscle and fascia. For athletes it is best to focus on the affected area as this allows maximum performance by reducing fatigue, swelling and inflammation and in return increasing power and flexibility.”