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Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2015 Sep 1;8(3):3-9. eCollection 2015 Sep.

A Standardized, Evidence-Based Massage Therapy Program for Decentralized Elite Paracyclists: Creating the Model.

Author information

1
Arnold School of Public Health/Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.
2
University of South Carolina School of Medicine - Greenville, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Greenville, SC, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Evidence suggests that para-athletes are injured more often than able-bodied athletes. The benefits of massage therapy for these disabled athletes are yet to be explored. This paper documents the process followed for creating a massage program for elite paracycling athletes with the goal to assess effects on recovery, rest, performance, and quality of life both on and off the bike.

SETTING:

Massage therapists' private practices throughout the United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

A United States Paracycling team consisting of 9 elite athletes: 2 spinal cord injury, 2 lower limb amputation, 1 upper limb amputation, 1 transverse myelitis, 1 stroke, 1 traumatic brain injury, and 1 visually impaired.

DESIGN:

The process used to develop a massage therapy program for para-cyclists included meetings with athletes, coaching staff, team exercise physiologist, and sports massage therapists; peer-reviewed literature was also consulted to address specific health conditions of para-athletes.

RESULTS:

Team leadership and athletes identified needs for quicker recovery, better rest, and improved performance in elite paracyclists. This information was used to generate a conceptual model for massage protocols, and led to creation of the intake and exit questionnaires to assess patient health status and recovery. Forms also were created for a general health intake, therapist information, and a therapist's SOAAP notes.

DISCUSSION:

The conceptual model and questionnaires developed herein will help to operationalize an exploratory study investigating the feasibility of implementing a standardized massage therapy program for a decentralized elite paracycling team.

KEYWORDS:

athletics; disability; evidence-based; massage; quality of life

PMID:
26388960
PMCID:
PMC4560532

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