Massage is commonly used during and between sporting events with the intent to speed recovery time and improve performance. While a great deal of time and money is allocated to physical therapists, massage therapists and athletic trainers for the application of sports massage, the research thus far is inconsistent at best in supporting the benefits and efficacy of this modality. The purpose if this study was to investigate the effects of post-exercise massage on recovery of power and torque of the quadriceps using a Biodex dynamometer. Thirty-one healthy subjects who normally engaged in a consistent exercise regimen were tested as they performed fifteen maximal concentric knee extension repetitions at an angular velocity of 90o/second on the Biodex. Quadriceps average power and peak torque were measured with the Biodex, after which the subjects were further fatigued via isometric and plyometric exercises. Fifteen subjects then received the placebo treatment (ten-minute rest and the application of Albolene™ cream to the left quadriceps) and sixteen subjects received the massage treatment (ten-minute massage consisting of effleurage and petrissage to the left quadriceps). Following their respective treatments, subjects were all re-tested for average quadriceps power and peak torque with the Biodex. There was no statistically significant difference in the change of average power or peak torque between the massage and the placebo groups. It was concluded that massage may have questionable efficacy in aiding the recovery of muscular power and torque, and its use for this purpose in athletic settings should be further investigated.
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