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Phys Ther. 1991 Aug;71(8):555-60.

Effects of massage on alpha motoneuron excitability.

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1
Department of Exercise Science, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the specificity of the effects of massage (petrissage) on spinal motoneuron excitability as measured by changes in the peak-to-peak amplitude of H-reflex recordings. H-reflexes (and M-responses) were recorded from the distal aspects of the right triceps surae muscle of 8 men and 8 women, aged 20 to 37 years, with no neuromuscular impairments of the lower extremities. The H-reflexes were recorded during five control and four experimental conditions (20 trials at each condition). The control conditions (C1-C5) preceded and followed each experimental condition, providing a measure of the stability of the H-reflex. Each experimental condition consisted of a 4-minute period of massage of the ipsilateral and contralateral triceps surae and hamstring muscle groups (ITS, CTS, IHS, and CHS, respectively). The mean peak-to-peak amplitude of the H-reflex was found to be stable (range = 1.91-1.95 mV) across the five control conditions. H-reflex amplitudes recorded during the experimental conditions indicate that massage of the ITS resulted in a reduction of the H-reflex (0.83 mV) in comparison with the pretest control condition (C1) and the remaining experimental conditions (range = 1.77-2.23 mV). This difference was significant, and subsequent Newman-Keuls tests indicated a specificity of the effects of massage on the muscle group being massaged. [Sullivan SJ, Williams LRT, Seaborne DE, Morelli M. Effects of massage on alpha motoneuron excitability.

PMID:
1852794
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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