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Relieve sore muscles with massage therapy

Posted 05/16/2014 | By HealthCorps

A new study by researchers at The University of Illinois at Chicago suggests that massage therapy can alleviate sore muscles, and improve general blood flow by bringing more oxygenated blood to inflamed muscles.

The study showed that massage has clear value once muscles have been mildly injured from weighted repetitions or extended use during aerobic exercise. The research looked at exercisers who were instructed to perform repetitions on the leg press machine, until they felt “quite sore.” Half of the exercisers then received massage therapy, while the other half did not. The soreness experienced by the massage group persisted for about 90 minutes, and then slowly resolved. In comparison, the group that did not receive massage therapy post exercise, experienced persistent soreness, for almost 24 hours.

Exercise-induced injury has also been shown to reduce blood flow to muscles. Special measurements taken after exercise in both groups showed that post massage, blood flow improved after 24 hours, continued to improve after 48 hours (post massage) and then tapered off to normal blood flow rates. In the non-massage group, it took almost 72 hours for blood flow to completely normalize.

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