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. 2017 Jan;117(1):109-117.
doi: 10.1007/s00421-016-3503-y. Epub 2016 Nov 16.

An Acute Session of Roller Massage Prolongs Voluntary Torque Development and Diminishes Evoked Pain


An Acute Session of Roller Massage Prolongs Voluntary Torque Development and Diminishes Evoked Pain

Mark Tyler Cavanaugh et al. Eur J Appl Physiol. .


Introduction: Roller massage (RM) has been reported to reduce pain associated with exercise-induced muscle soreness and increase range of motion without force or activation impairments. The objective was to examine RM effects on evoked pain and contractile properties.

Methods: Twelve men received three sets of 30-s RM at a perceived discomfort level of 7/10 on a visual analogue scale on the ipsilateral (IPSI-R) stimulated plantar flexors (PF), contralateral PF (CONTRA-R), Sham (light rolling on stimulated PF), or Control. At pre-test, post-test, and 5-min post-test, they received evoked maximal twitch, tetanus, and 70% maximal tetanic stimulation, and performed a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). Data analysis included perceived pain and contractile properties.

Results: The 70% tetanus illustrated significant 9-10% increases in pain perception with Sham and Control at post- and 5-min post-test, respectively (p < 0.01). There was no pain augmentation with IPSI-R and CONTRA-R. There were no main effects or interactions for most contractile properties. However, MVIC force developed in the first 200 ms showed 9.5% (p = 0.1) and 19.1% (p = 0.03) decreases with IPSI-R at post-test and 5-min post-test.

Conclusion: Data suggest that RM-induced neural inhibition decreased MVIC F200 and nullified the testing-induced increase in evoked pain associated with 70% tetanic stimulation.

Keywords: Foam roller; Massage; Muscle twitch; Tetanus; Visual analogue scale.

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