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Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2013 Jun 3;6(2):3-8. Print 2013.

Massage efficacy beliefs for muscle recovery from a running race.

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College of Nursing, University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, CO, USA.



Belief in efficacy of CAM therapies has been sparsely reported and may be different than reported use of the therapy.


The aim of this study was to identify efficacy beliefs of massage for muscle recovery following a 10-km running race.


Finish zone of a 10-km race.


Participants completed a brief survey regarding running race characteristics, prior use of massage, and belief in efficacy of massage regarding muscle recovery from the race.


The subject pool consisted of 745 individuals who completed a running race and were within 60 minutes of race completion.


Subjects reported demographic information (age, gender), race information (finish time, perceived exertion, muscle soreness, fatigue), prior use of massage, and belief regarding efficacy of massage for postrace muscle recovery.


Most study participants believed that massage would benefit muscle recovery following the running race (80.0%), even though only 43.9% had received a massage previously. Those who had received at least one massage were significantly more likely to believe that massage would benefit muscle recovery (91.9% vs. 70.4%, p < .001). Females were more likely than males to have had a massage (52.3% vs. 36.0%, p < .001) and to believe it would benefit recovery (83.1% vs. 77.1%, p = .046).


Massage is well-accepted as a muscle recovery aid following a running race, but females and those who have used massage were significantly more likely to perceive it as advantageous. Belief in a therapeutic value of massage for muscle recovery exceeds its reported use.


complementary medicine; integrative medicine; physical activity; recovery of function; treatment efficacy

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