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Ice massage. Effects on exercise-induced muscle damage

PainSci » bibliography » Howatson et al 2003
Tags: treatment, self-treatment, massage, ice heat, exercise, chronic pain, manual therapy, rehab, injury, pain problems

Two articles on PainSci cite Howatson 2003: 1. A Deep Dive into Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness2. Massage Does Not Reduce Inflammation

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.

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