Past Articles

Sore Muscles? Exercise And Massage Can Offer Equal Relief

A new study comparing the benefits of massage and exercise has concluded that working out is as effective as massage at relieving the aches and pains of sore muscles. The research, conducted by the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, asked 20 participants to perform a shoulder exercise designed to engage both of the trapezius muscles between the neck and shoulders. Two days later, the subjects returned to the lab and rated the pain of the aching muscles on a scale of one to ten. The average pain experienced by the participants was described as a five. Subjects then received a 10 minute massage on one shoulder and spent 10 minutes exercising the other. Participants were asked again to rate their pain. Both massage and exercise offered relief, with massage decreasing the pain by an average of .07 points and exercise relieving an average of .08. Researchers are unclear how massage or exercise relieve soreness, but believe that they help to clear out metabolic byproducts associated with tissue damage.

Source: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, online March 21, 2013.