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J Physiother. 2016 Apr;62(2):83-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jphys.2016.02.009. Epub 2016 Mar 23.

Massage therapy decreases pain and perceived fatigue after long-distance Ironman triathlon: a randomised trial.

Author information

1
Department of Physiotherapy, Center of Health and Sport Sciences, Santa Catarina State University, Florianópolis.
2
Department of Physiotherapy, Estácio University Center of Santa Catarina, São José, Brazil.
3
Department of Physiotherapy, Center of Health and Sport Sciences, Santa Catarina State University, Florianópolis; Department of Physiology, São Paulo Federal University, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

QUESTION:

Can massage therapy reduce pain and perceived fatigue in the quadriceps of athletes after a long-distance triathlon race (Ironman)?

DESIGN:

Randomised, controlled trial with concealed allocation, intention-to-treat analysis and blinded outcome assessors.

PARTICIPANTS:

Seventy-four triathlon athletes who completed an entire Ironman triathlon race and whose main complaint was pain in the anterior portion of the thigh.

INTERVENTION:

The experimental group received massage to the quadriceps, which was aimed at recovery after competition, and the control group rested in sitting.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The outcomes were pain and perceived fatigue, which were reported using a visual analogue scale, and pressure pain threshold at three points over the quadriceps muscle, which was assessed using digital pressure algometry.

RESULTS:

The experimental group had significantly lower scores than the control group on the visual analogue scale for pain (MD -7 mm, 95% CI -13 to -1) and for perceived fatigue (MD -15 mm, 95% CI -21 to -9). There were no significant between-group differences for the pressure pain threshold at any of the assessment points.

CONCLUSION:

Massage therapy was more effective than no intervention on the post-race recovery from pain and perceived fatigue in long-distance triathlon athletes.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials, RBR-4n2sxr.

KEYWORDS:

Athletes; Fatigue; Musculoskeletal manipulations; Musculoskeletal pain; Quadriceps muscle

PMID:
27025688
DOI:
10.1016/j.jphys.2016.02.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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