Exercise Is As Effective As Massage For Banishing Pain

Study finds massage and exercise have same benefits for treating post-workout aches and pains

Exercise has been found to be just as effective as massage for treating post-workout pain.

Although earlier research showed massage can offer relief from this, a new study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has found exercise has the same benefits.

Lead author Professor Lars Andersen, from the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, asked 20 women to do a shoulder exercise while hooked up to a resistance machine.

They shrugged their shoulders as the magazine applied resistance in order to engage the trapezius muscle (located between the neck and shoulders).

Two days later they returned with aching muscles, rating their pain as five out of ten on average, up from 0.8 before they had done the shoulder workout.

They were given a 10-minute massage on one shoulder and had to do a 10-minute recovery exercise on the other, involving shoulder shrugging while gripping an elastic tube held down by their foot.

The researchers found both massage and exercise diminishing muscle pain. On average, there was a 0.8 point reduction after exercise and 0.7 after the massage.

It’s thought both massage and exercise help provide pain relief by helping to clear out metabolic byproducts, such as lactic acid, which are associated with tissue damage.

Professor Andersen recommends that people try light exercise to reduce pain, adding it does not require money or a trained therapist to do this.


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