Study Demonstrates How Massage Therapy Reduces Pain, Inflammation

Pain Management

A study published in Science Translational Medicine found massage reduces inflammation and promotes growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle, relieving pain, according to a Buck Institute for Research on Aging news release. Researchers from the Buck Institute and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, conducted a genetic analysis of muscle biopsies taken from the quadriceps of 11 young males. The men exercised on stationary bikes until exhaustion and afterward each received a massage on one leg. Muscle biopsies were taken from both legs before exercising, 10 minutes after massage treatment and 2.5 hours afterward.

The genetic analysis revealed massage dampened the expression of inflammatory cytokines and protein molecules, and promoted growth of mitochondria. Researchers theorize that pain reduction associated with massage might involve the same process as anti-inflammatory drugs.

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