PainSci notes on Howatson 2003:
A small study showing no effect of ice massage on muscle soreness after exercise. The massage was not very “massage-y,” but non-ice massage for DOMS is also somewhat tainted by this evidence.
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
AIM: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ice massage on the signs and symptoms associated with exercise-induced muscle damage.
METHODS: Nine recreationally resistance trained males performed an exercise protocol designed to induce muscle damage on 2 separate occasions; this was performed on the dominant or non-dominant arm in a random cross over design. The protocol consisted of 3 sets of 10 repetitions of single arm biceps curls, at 70% of a pre-determined one repetition maximum (1RM), with the eccentric phase of the contraction extended to 7 seconds. Subjects were also randomly assigned to an ice massage group or control group in the cross over design and received treatments immediately post-exercise, 24 hours and 48 hours post-exercise. 1RM, plasma creatine kinase (CK), muscle soreness (DOMS), limb girth and range of motion (ROM) were measured pre, immediately post, 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours post-exercise.
RESULTS: Significant time effects were observed for all dependent variables (p<0.05), though no significant group effects were observed. A group by time interaction was found for CK (p<0.05), which at 72 hours post-exercise was significantly lower in the ice massage group (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that although ice massage reduces the appearance of CK it has no other effect on signs and symptoms associated with exercise-induced muscle damage.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.
- Association Between Plantar Fasciitis and Isolated Gastrocnemius Tightness. Nakale 2018 Foot Ankle Int.
- No Added Benefit of Combining Dry Needling With Guideline-Based Physical Therapy When Managing Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Stieven 2020 J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.