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Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:17 pm

Master Masters Athlete
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:01 pm
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Location: Chico, CA

Massage Eases Knee Arthritis Pain
Most people agree that massage feels good and promotes relaxation. In most countries, massage is an important part of the restoration process following exercise (with the exception of America). Our resistance to massage is probably due to our Puritan heritage that views it as an overt or quasi-sexual act. Does it work? Massage is difficult to study because it’s impossible to have a true control group. A valid control group would require that people think they’re getting a massage but they’re not. We have good evidence that massage increases blood flow, promotes relaxation, reduces cortisol (a catabolic hormone), and temporarily lowers resting blood pressure and heart rate. There is little objective evidence that massage reduces the risk of injury, speeds healing from injury, or improves performance. A study by Dr. David L. Katz and colleagues from the Yale University School of Medicine showed that massage reduced knee pain in arthritis patients. The study involved 68 people with arthritis of the knee who received either no treatment (control group) or two knee massages per week for 4-weeks and one massage per week for an additional 4-weeks. Massage caused marked improvements in pain, stiffness, physical function, and range of motion. This was one of the first mainstream medical studies showing measurable health benefits from massage.
(Archives Internal Medicine 166: 2533-2538, 2006)

From Fahey's Health Research column in Muscular Development Magazine

Thomas Fahey
Dept Kinesiology
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0330

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