Massage therapy assists in elite para-athlete recovery

Paracycling low res.jpg

Massage therapy can improve sleep and muscle tightness to aid recovery in elite para-athletes, according to a study published in BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine (Kennedy et al, 2018).

In a mixed methods study, scientists invited nine members of Team Roger C Peace, an elite para-cycling team from South Carolina, USA, to receive one hour of massage therapy each week for four weeks, before switching to every other week until the respective athletes left the team or the two-year study ended.

Seventeen massage therapists were recruited, who on average had been practising for 14 years.

To monitor progress, the athletes agreed to complete a questionnaire before and after each massage session, with closed and open-ended questions on athlete goals, stress, sleep, muscle tightness, spasticity and pain. Additional information was collected from programme feedback and treatment notes from the massage therapists.

The results at the end of the study revealed improvements in sleep and muscle tightness from baseline, which was supported by individual testimony from the athletes describing how the massage had assisted their recovery while training.

See the full open-access study at fht.org.uk/IT-124-paracycling

References

For full references, go to fht.org.uk/IT-references

Photo by Seth kane on Unsplash

 

We hope you enjoyed this article, which was first published in the Spring 2018 issue of International Therapist!

International Therapist is the FHT’s membership magazine. Published on a quarterly basis, it offers a broad range of articles – from aromatherapy and electrolysis, to sports injuries and regulation updates. The magazine is a membership benefit and is not available off-the-shelf or by subscription.

Join today to start receiving the leading magazine for professional therapists.

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s