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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Jan;39(1):34-7.

Therapist education impacts the massage effect on postrace muscle recovery.

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University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Denver, CO 80262, USA.



The intention of this study was to assess the effectiveness of massage on muscle recovery as a function of therapist education in participants who completed a 10-km running race.


Race participants were offered a 12- to 15-min massage immediately post-event. Participants were randomly assigned to a student therapist with either 450, 700, or 950 h of didactic training in massage. Muscle soreness was recorded by questionnaire using a 0- to 10-point visual scale at time points immediately before and after massage, and 24 and 48 h post-event. Eight hundred ninety-five subjects were recruited, with 317 subjects returning questionnaires from all time points.


Race participants who received massage from student therapists with 950 h of didactic training reported significantly greater improvement in muscle soreness across time compared with those who received massage from therapists with 700 or 450 h of education in massage (P < 0.01). On study entry, there was no difference in muscle soreness (P = 0.99), with a group mean of 4.4 +/- 0.4; at the 24-h measurement, soreness was 2.4 +/- 0.6, 3.7 +/- 0.5, and 3.6 +/- 0.9 for the 950-, 700-, and 450-h groups, respectively (P < 0.01).


Level of therapist training was shown to impact effectiveness of massage as a post-race recovery tool; greater reduction in muscle soreness was achieved by therapists with 950 h of training as opposed to those with 700 or 450 h.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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