The effect of massage on localized lumbar muscle fatigue
Tim Hideaki Tanaka, Gerry Leisman, Hidetoshi Mori, and Kazushi Nishijo
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2002; 2: 9.
There is not enough evidence to support the efficacy of massage for muscle fatigue despite wide utilization of the modality in various clinical settings. This study investigated the influence of massage application on localized back muscle fatigue.
Twenty-nine healthy subjects participated in two experimental sessions (massage and rest conditions). On each test day, subjects were asked to lie in the prone position on a treatment table and perform sustained back extension for 90 seconds. Subjects then either received massage on the lumbar region or rested for a 5 minute duration, then repeated the back extension movement. The median frequency (MDF), mean power frequency (MNF), and root mean square (RMS) amplitude of electromyographic signals during the 90 second sustained lumbar muscle contraction were analyzed. The subjective feeling of fatigue was then evaluated using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).
MDF and MNF significantly declined with time under all conditions. There was no significant difference in MDF, MNF or RMS value change between before and after massage, or between rest and massage conditions. There was a significant increase in fatigue VAS at the end of the 2nd back extension with rest condition. There was a significant difference in fatigue VAS change between massage and rest condition.
A significant difference was observed between massage and rest condition on VAS for muscle fatigue. On EMG analysis, there were no significant differences to conclude that massage stimulation influenced the myoelectrical muscle fatigue, which is associated with metabolic and electrical changes.
Other studies investigating effects of massage on muscle functions
Keywords: delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), localized muscle fatigue, post exercise recovery, muscle strength, muscle recovery, electromyography (EMG), H reflex, alpha motor neuron excitability
Anaya-Terroba, L., M. Arroyo-Morales, et al. (2010). “Effects of ice massage on pressure pain thresholds and electromyography activity postexercise: a randomized controlled crossover study.” J Manipulative Physiol Ther 33(3): 212-219.
Arroyo-Morales, M., N. Olea, et al. (2008). “Psychophysiological effects of massage-myofascial release after exercise: a randomized sham-control study.” J Altern Complement Med 14(10): 1223-1229.
Barlow, A., R. Clarke, et al. (2004). “Effect of massage of the hamstring muscle group on performance of the sit and reach test.” Br J Sports Med 38(3): 349-351.
Barlow, A., R. Clarke, et al. (2007). “Effect of massage of the hamstring muscles on selected electromyographic characteristics of biceps femoris during sub-maximal isometric contraction.” Int J Sports Med 28(3): 253-256.
Best, T. M., R. Hunter, et al. (2008). “Effectiveness of sports massage for recovery of skeletal muscle from strenuous exercise.” Clin J Sport Med 18(5): 446-460.
Dishman, J. D. and R. Bulbulian (2001). “Comparison of effects of spinal manipulation and massage on motoneuron excitability.” Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 41(2): 97-106.
Drust, B., G. Atkinson, et al. (2003). “The effects of massage on intra muscular temperature in the vastus lateralis in humans.” Int J Sports Med 24(6): 395-399.
Durkin, J. L., A. Harvey, et al. (2006). “The effects of lumbar massage on muscle fatigue, muscle oxygenation, low back discomfort, and driver performance during prolonged driving.” Ergonomics 49(1): 28-44.
Fletcher, I. M. (2010). “The effects of precompetition massage on the kinematic parameters of 20-m sprint performance.” J Strength Cond Res 24(5): 1179-1183.
Goldberg, J., D. E. Seaborne, et al. (1994). “The effect of therapeutic massage on H-reflex amplitude in persons with a spinal cord injury.” Phys Ther 74(8): 728-737.
Goldberg, J., S. J. Sullivan, et al. (1992). “The effect of two intensities of massage on H-reflex amplitude.” Phys Ther 72(6): 449-457.
Goodwin, J. E., M. Glaister, et al. (2007). “Effect of pre-performance lower-limb massage on thirty-meter sprint running.” J Strength Cond Res 21(4): 1028-1031.
Gupta, S., A. Goswami, et al. (1996). “Comparative study of lactate removal in short term massage of extremities, active recovery and a passive recovery period after supramaximal exercise sessions.” Int J Sports Med 17(2): 106-110.
Hemmings, B., M. Smith, et al. (2000). “Effects of massage on physiological restoration, perceived recovery, and repeated sports performance.” Br J Sports Med 34(2): 109-114; discussion 115.
Hilbert, J. E., G. A. Sforzo, et al. (2003). “The effects of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness.” Br J Sports Med 37(1): 72-75.
Hunter, A. M., J. M. Watt, et al. (2006). “Effect of lower limb massage on electromyography and force production of the knee extensors.” Br J Sports Med 40(2): 114-118.
Lee, H. M., S. K. Wu, et al. (2009). “Quantitative application of transverse friction massage and its neurological effects on flexor carpi radialis.” Man Ther 14(5): 501-507.
Moraska, A. (2007). “Therapist education impacts the massage effect on postrace muscle recovery.” Med Sci Sports Exerc 39(1): 34-37.
Morelli, M., C. E. Chapman, et al. (1999). “Do cutaneous receptors contribute to the changes in the amplitude of the H-reflex during massage?” Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 39(7): 441-447.
Morelli, M., D. E. Seaborne, et al. (1990). “Changes in H-reflex amplitude during massage of triceps surae in healthy subjects.” JOSPT 12(2): 5559.
Morelli, M., D. E. Seaborne, et al. (1991). “H-reflex modulation during manual muscle massage of human triceps surae.” Arch Phys Med Rehabil 72(11): 915-919.
Morelli, M., S. J. Sullivan, et al. (1998). “Inhibitory influence of soleus massage onto the medial gastrocnemius H-reflex.” Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 38(2): 87-93.
Mori, H., H. Ohsawa, et al. (2004). “Effect of massage on blood flow and muscle fatigue following isometric lumbar exercise.” Med Sci Monit 10(5): CR173-178.
Newham, D. J. and E. Lederman (1997). “Effect of manual therapy techniques on the stretch reflex in normal human quadriceps.” Disabil Rehabil 19(8): 326-331.
Ogai, R., M. Yamane, et al. (2008). “Effects of petrissage massage on fatigue and exercise performance following intensive cycle pedalling.” Br J Sports Med 42(10): 834-838.
Robertson, A., J. M. Watt, et al. (2004). “Effects of leg massage on recovery from high intensity cycling exercise.” Br J Sports Med 38(2): 173-176.
Rodenburg, J. B., D. Steenbeek, et al. (1994). “Warm-up, stretching and massage diminish harmful effects of eccentric exercise.” Int J Sports Med 15(7): 414-419.
Smith, L. L., M. N. Keating, et al. (1994). “The effects of athletic massage on delayed onset muscle soreness, creatine kinase, and neutrophil count: a preliminary report.” J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 19(2): 93-99.
Sullivan, S. J., L. R. Williams, et al. (1991). “Effects of massage on alpha motoneuron excitability.” Phys Ther 71(8): 555-560.