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Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2013;51(1):103-6. doi: 10.5603/FHC.2013.0014.

Massage-induced morphological changes of dense connective tissue in rat's tendon.

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  • 1Physiotherapy Department, University of Physical Education, Wroclaw, Poland.


The aim of the experiment was to determine if possible changes in connective tissue induced by massage could have a positive effect justifing the use of massage in all post-traumatic connective tissue conditions, e.g. tendon injuries. The investigations were performed in a group of 18 Buffalo rats. The rats were divided into two groups (experimental and control). To standardize the massage procedure, it was performed with an algometer probe of 0.5 cm2 with constant pressure force of 1 kG (9,81 N). To analyse the number and diameter of collagen fibrils, two electron micrographs were performed for each rat of the collected segments of tendons of rat tail lateral extensor muscle. After image digitalization and calibration, the measurements were carried out using iTEM 5.0 software. The number of fibrils, their diameter and area were measured in a cross-sectional area. An increase of the number of collagen fibrils was observed in the tendons of massaged animals compared to the control group. Our study demonstrated that massage may cause a beneficial effect on metabolic activity of tendon's fibroblasts and, in consequence, may be applied for more effective use of massage for the prevention of tendon injury as well as after the injury has occurred. (Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica 2013, Vol. 51, No. 1, 103-106).

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