Massages as good as pain killers

If you've got aching muscles try a massage before reaching for the pain killers

A soothing massage does more than relax your aching muscles, but can mimic the action of pain killing drugs, says a new study.

The findings, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, shows that massages promote the growth of new mitochondria and dampen the effect of molecules in the immune system that contribute to inflammation.

‘The potential benefits of massage could be useful to a broad spectrum of individuals, including those suffering from musculoskeletal injuries and patients with chronic inflammatory disease,’ says lead researcher Dr Mark Tarnopolsky from McMaster University in Canada.

‘This study provides evidence that manipulative therapies such as massage may be justifiable in medical practice.’

Scientists conducted a genetic analysis of muscle tissue from volunteers who had exhausted themselves on exercise bikes.

The scientists conclude that the pain reduction associated with massage could involve the same mechanism as anti-inflammatory drugs.

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