A groundbreaking new US study has shown that massage can aid in the repair of muscles after injury.
Researchers from Colorado State University and the University of Kentucky showed that in rats, massage improves protein production in cells, causing muscle to grow faster.
In the paper published in November’s issue of The Journal of Physiology, the researchers also demonstrated that the muscle in an opposite, uninjured leg can be stimulated to grow faster by massaging the injured leg.
“If you injured one leg and couldn’t massage it because of that injury, we now have evidence suggesting that massaging the other non-injured leg could lead to benefits in the injured leg,” said Karyn Hamilton, a faculty member in CSU’s Department of Health and Exercise Science.
“That’s a novel finding with potentially very important implications.”
Rats that had been kept inactive to decrease muscle mass were massaged with a device that applied highly controlled pressure to the muscle every other day for a week. The research team is beginning similar studies using human participants.