A randomized controlled trial of manual therapy and pneumatic compression for recovery from prolonged running - an extended study

Res Sports Med. Jul-Sep 2018;26(3):354-364. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2018.1447469. Epub 2018 Mar 7.


Manual therapy (MT) and intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) are recovery methods used by endurance athletes with little evidence supporting effectiveness. This randomized controlled trial evaluated effectiveness of four daily post-race treatments of a specific MT protocol and IPC compared with supine rest on recovery following an ultramarathon among 56 ultramarathoners. Groups were comparable across all characteristics examined, including post-race plasma creatine kinase concentration. Subject completed timed 400 m runs before the race and on days three, five, seven and 14 post- race, and also provided muscle pain and soreness ratings and fatigue scores immediately before and after treatments, and during the 14 days post- race. Daily subjective measures and 400 m run times were not improved by either treatment, but both treatments reduced (p < .05) muscular fatigue scores acutely after treatment following the race and on post-race day 1, and MT improved (p < .05) muscle pain and soreness acutely following the race.

Keywords: Creatine kinase; massage; muscle fatigue; myalgia; running.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Fatigue*
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations*
  • Myalgia / therapy*
  • Rest
  • Running*


  • Creatine Kinase