Effects of therapeutic massage on gait and pain after delayed onset muscle soreness

J Exerc Rehabil. 2014 Apr 30;10(2):136-40. doi: 10.12965/jer.140106. eCollection 2014 Apr.


Unfamiliar or sudden exercise can induce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) within 12-24 h. So, several researchers have reported various interventions to treat DOMS. Massage is generally known to eliminate muscle fatigue. However, effect of massage after DOMS is still not clear. We investigated whether the massage is effective on pain and gait after DOMS. The participants were divided into a control group (n= 10) with DOMS and an experimental group (n= 11) with the massage treated after DOMS. We induced DOMS by taking isotonic exercise with going up and down 20 times in 5-story building. We applied the massage and assessment on gastrocnemius of dominant foot. The change of gait and pain was assessed using gaitrite and algometer. In the present results, the massage on gastrocnemius after DOMS showed significant difference in pain (P< 0.05). Also, there was a significant difference in gait (P< 0.05), especially, spatial parameters (distance, step length, stride length) and temporal parameters (ambulation, heel on off time, stride velocity). Moreover, the pain relief after massage-treated in DOMS correlated with gait. These results suggest that the massage on gastrocnemius after DOMS has influence on pain and gait performance. Therefore, massage can be applied as intervention for delayed onset muscle soreness.

Keywords: Delayed onset muscle soreness; Gait; Gastrocnemius; Massage; Pain.