The study found that the post-exercise massage group found themselves basically pain free from 90 minutes after exercise, while the exercise only group experienced lasting soreness for 24 hours.
Interestingly, but not surprising, the group that received a post-training rubdown and the group that just had a massage without the exercise enjoyed improved circulation for 72 hours, as opposed to the exercise only group which found that they had reduced circulation for about 48 hours. The study tested the circulation levels in their arms, and due to the distance from where the exercise stress and massage occurred, it suggests that massage triggers a full-body improved circulation response.
When muscles are put under stress from exercise, the microfibers of the muscles can tear, this is the pain you feel after training hard. Improved circulation of the whole body will lead to a faster recovery as the blood is able to carry adequate nutrients and oxygen to muscles.
Even if you are not training hard, regular massage has the same beneficial effect on circulation regardless and aids in injury prevention.
Get in touch with me, Sian McCartney, if you have any questions on when you should get a sports massage.
- Massage Therapy Restores Peripheral Vascular Function After Exertion Nina C. Franklin, PhD, Mohamed M. Ali, MD, Austin T. Robinson, MS, Edita Norkeviciute, BS, Shane A. Phillips, PT, PhD’Correspondence information about the author PT, PhD Shane A. Phillips. [2 February 2017] Available at https://www.massagemag.com/massage-therapy-improves-endothelial-function-26993/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4037335/)