Researchers at McMaster University have discovered a brief 10-minute massage helps reduce inflammation in muscle.
As a non-drug therapy, massage holds the potential to help not just bone-weary athletes but those with inflammation-related chronic conditions, such as arthritis or muscular dystrophy, says Justin Crane, a doctoral student in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster.
While massage is well accepted as a therapy for relieving muscle tension and pain, the researchers delved deeper to find it also triggers biochemical sensors that can send inflammation-reducing signals to muscle cells.
In addition, massage signals muscle to build more mitochondria, the power centres of cells which play an important role in healing.
"The main thing, and what is novel about our study, is that no one has ever looked inside the muscle to see what is happening with massage, no one looked at the biochemical effects or what might be going on in the muscle itself," said Crane.
"We have shown the muscle senses that it is being stretched and this appears to reduce the cells' inflammatory response," he said. "As a consequence, massage may be beneficial for recovery from injury."
Crane said the McMaster researchers are the first to take a manual therapy, like massage, and test the effect using a muscle biopsy to show massage reduces inflammation, an underlying factor in many chronic diseases.
The research appears in the Feb. 1 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
For their study, the researchers followed 11 men in their twenties.
On their first visit, the men's exercise capacity was assessed. Two weeks later, the men cycled on a bicycle for more than 70 minutes, to a point of exhaustion when they couldn't cycle any more. They then rested for 10 minutes.
While resting, a massage therapist lightly applied massage oil to both legs, and then performed massage for 10 minutes on one leg using a variety of techniques commonly used in rehabilitation.
Muscle biopsies were done on both legs (quadriceps) and repeated 2.5 hours later. Researchers found reduced inflammation in the massaged leg.
Crane admits being surprised that just 10 minutes of massage had such a profound effect. "I didn't think that little bit of massage could produce that remarkable of a change, especially since the exercise was so robust. Seventy minutes of exercise compared to 10 of massage, it is clearly potent." The results hint that massage therapy blunts muscle pain by the same biological mechanisms as most pain medications and could be an effective alternative.
Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, professor of medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, oversaw the study.
"Given that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with muscle atrophy and other processes such as insulin resistance, any therapy that can improve mitochondrial function may be beneficial," he said.
Crane said this study is only a first step in determining the best therapies for promoting recovery from a variety of muscle injuries.
He said that surprisingly the research proved one oft-repeated idea false: massage did not help clear lactic acid from tired muscles.
A photo of Justin Crane can be downloaded at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/media/media_20120131.html
For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:Veronica McGuire
Veronica McGuire | EurekAlert!
Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania
The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering