Traditional Chinese acupressure massage ameliorates systemic inflammatory responses and joint mobility limitation after acute repeated jumping exercise.
Explore (NY). 2020 Jan - Feb;16(1):26-34. Epub 2019 Aug 12. PMID: 31488342
CONTEXT: Alternative medical and training approaches to accelerate recovery among athletes are growing in popularity. The potential benefits of acupressure massage on attenuating muscle soreness and promoting post-exercise recovery capacity are still unclear.
OBJECTIVE: This study compares the effects of traditional Chinese acupressure massage (TCAM) and active recovery, on subject recovery capacity after acute repeated jumping exercise.
DESIGN: Twenty healthy male athletes were randomly assigned to traditional Chinese acupressure massage (TCAM; N = 10) or active recovery (AR; performing low-intensity exercise during post-exercise recovery; N = 10) groups. TCAM and AR intervention were applied after repeated jumping exercise. Pain scale, knee active/passive range of motion (AROM/PROM), jumping performance, quadriceps maximum voluntary contraction force, creatine kinase, and leukocyte subpopulations were measured at baseline, after and 48 h after exercise.
RESULTS: No significant interaction effects were observed between the jumping performance, quadriceps maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) force, power-to-weight ratio for the two groups before the exercise, after the exercise, and 48 h post exercise. However, the knee flexion AROM/PROM was greater in the TCAM group than that for the AR group (p = 0.005). There were no differences in the VAS, MVC, and jumping performance between treatments. The white blood cell (p = 0.024), and monocytes (p = 0.023) responses were lower in the TCAM group.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that TCAM generates beneficial effects on attenuating joint mobility limitations and lowering systemic inflammatory responses after acute exercise in athletes. These findings suggest that TCAM may be a practical alternative approach for athletes participating in consecutive competitions containing eccentric elements.