Objective: To determine if lower extremity exercise-induced muscle injury reduces vascular endothelial function of the upper extremity and if massage therapy (MT) improves peripheral vascular function after exertion-induced muscle injury.
Design: Randomized, blinded trial with evaluations at 90 minutes, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours.
Setting: Clinical research center.
Participants: Sedentary young adults (N=36) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (1) exertion-induced muscle injury and MT (n=15; mean age ± SE, 26.6 ± 0.3); (2) exertion-induced muscle injury only (n=10; mean age ± SE, 23.6 ± 0.4), and (3) MT only (n=11; mean age ± SE, 25.5 ± 0.4).
Intervention: Participants were assigned to exertion-induced muscle injury only (a single bout of bilateral, eccentric leg press exercise), MT only (30-min lower extremity massage using Swedish technique), or exertion-induced muscle injury and MT.
Main outcome measures: Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was determined by ultrasound at each time point. Nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced dilation was also assessed (0.4 mg).
Results: Brachial FMD increased from baseline in the exertion-induced muscle injury and MT group and the MT only group (7.38%±.18% to 9.02%±.28%, P<.05 and 7.77%±.25% to 10.2%±.22%, P<.05, respectively) at 90 minutes and remained elevated until 72 hours. In the exertion-induced muscle injury only group, FMD was reduced from baseline at 24 and 48 hours (7.78%±.14% to 6.75%±.11%, P<.05 and 6.53%±.11%, P<.05, respectively) and returned to baseline after 72 hours. Dilations of NTG were similar over time.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that MT attenuates impairment of upper extremity endothelial function resulting from lower extremity exertion-induced muscle injury in sedentary young adults.
Keywords: Endothelium; Exercise; Massage; Rehabilitation.
Copyright © 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.