Do you suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness, usually known as DOMS? DOMS is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after strenuous exercise and the aftermath of hardcore training or anything we do that challenges us physically. DOMS can lead to a temporary reduction in muscular force and an increased risk of injury, which leads us to look everywhere for relief because, let’s face it, hobbling around for 2 or 3 days is just no fun at all.
GOOD NEWS! Science confirms what massage therapists have been telling you all along. Massage helps recover faster!
A study published in Frontiers in Physiology conducted a meta-analysis, by searching through three scientific databases, and found 99 studies that were related to the topic.
The literature showed that active recovery (exercise), massage, compression garments, immersion, contrast water therapy, and cryotherapy induced a small to large decrease in the magnitude of DOMS, while there was no change for other methods such as stretching. Massage was found to be the most powerful technique for recovering from DOMS and fatigue.
In terms of muscle damage and inflammatory markers, the review observed an overall moderate decrease in creatine kinase and overall small decreases in interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein. The most powerful techniques for reducing inflammation were massage and cold exposure.
The authors concluded that massage appears to be the most effective method that was studied for reducing DOMS and perceived fatigue. The use of compression garments also have a significant positive impact but with a less pronounced effect. Perceived fatigue can be effectively managed using compression techniques, such as compression garments and massage. Furthermore, the most powerful techniques that provide recovery from inflammation are massage and cold exposure, such as cryotherapy.*
So, next time you need to recover, who are you going to call? That’s right! We’re here for you.
*Joe Muscolino/ The Art and Science of Kinesiology