Vibratory massage and short-term recovery from muscular fatigue

Int J Sports Med. 1990 Dec;11(6):474-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1024840.


Percussive vibratory massage has long been purported to offset the negative effects of muscular exercise. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of this type of massage on recovery from repeated submaximal contractions. Twelve male subjects performed repeated, static contractions of the quadriceps at 70% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), with periodic MVCs performed after every fourth one. This pattern continued until the subject could no longer produce the required 70% (Tlim). The entire procedure was repeated three times with rest periods between each series. The rate of fatigue (ROF) was calculated from a regression line fit to the decline of the periodic MVCs. We studied the ROF during static exercise alone, as well as during static exercise following cycling for 30 min at 75% VO2max. In the control conditions, the subjects rested for 5 min between each of the three series of contractions. In the experimental conditions the subjects received 4 min of percussive vibratory massage and 1 min of rest. The results showed that there was no significant difference in ROF in either static or following dynamic exercise between the control and vibrated conditions. Although ROF was the same in all experimental conditions. Tlim occurred sooner following dynamic exercise because the initial MVC was significantly lower than static (p less than .008). We have therefore concluded that short-term recovery from intense muscular activity is not augmented by percussive vibratory massage.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Thigh
  • Time Factors
  • Vibration*