A 2012 study coming out of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has found evidence that massage can reduce the inflammation of skeletal muscles that are damaged through exercise. Most cases of muscle inflammation are due to overuse – often from starting a new exercise activity or doing a familiar activity for an increased amount of time. Stretching before and after a workout can help manage the inflammation, but for persistent soreness, therapeutic massage can help reduce the inflammation. While it has been found that massage therapy can help manage pain caused by muscle inflammation, this study claims that therapeutic massage also has an effect on the cellular functions.
How does this work? According to the study, it is a very complex process that occurs at the cellular level, involving signaling pathways and other proteins. Massage therapy was found to be effective in increasing the activity in specific signaling pathways and reducing a heat shock protein, attenuating the production of a number of protein types associated with cellular stress and “thereby mitigating cellular stress resulting from myofiber injury” (Abstract). This study provides evidence that massage therapy has benefits beyond pain management and relaxation. There appear to be clinical, cellular benefits as well when massage therapy is used in patients who have experienced skeletal muscle injuries and inflammation. These benefits can be helpful to anyone who exercises regularly – help manage muscle recovery and inflammation with therapeutic massage! Book your appointment with Elements Massage at Peoria Arrowhead today! 623.399.4400