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Massage Therapy Restores Peripheral Vascular Function After Exertion

  • Nina C. Franklin
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

    Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
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  • Mohamed M. Ali
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

    Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
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  • Austin T. Robinson
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

    Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
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  • Edita Norkeviciute
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
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  • Shane A. Phillips
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author Shane A. Phillips, PT, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1919 W Taylor St (M/C 898), Chicago, IL 60612.
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

    Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

    Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
    Search for articles by this author
Published:February 27, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2014.02.007

      Abstract

      Objective

      To determine if lower extremity exercise-induced muscle injury reduces vascular endothelial function of the upper extremity and if massage therapy (MT) improves peripheral vascular function after exertion-induced muscle injury.

      Design

      Randomized, blinded trial with evaluations at 90 minutes, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours.

      Setting

      Clinical research center.

      Participants

      Sedentary young adults (N=36) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (1) exertion-induced muscle injury and MT (n=15; mean age ± SE, 26.6±0.3); (2) exertion-induced muscle injury only (n=10; mean age ± SE, 23.6±0.4), and (3) MT only (n=11; mean age ± SE, 25.5±0.4).

      Intervention

      Participants were assigned to exertion-induced muscle injury only (a single bout of bilateral, eccentric leg press exercise), MT only (30-min lower extremity massage using Swedish technique), or exertion-induced muscle injury and MT.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was determined by ultrasound at each time point. Nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced dilation was also assessed (0.4mg).

      Results

      Brachial FMD increased from baseline in the exertion-induced muscle injury and MT group and the MT only group (7.38%±.18% to 9.02%±.28%, P<.05 and 7.77%±.25% to 10.2%±.22%, P<.05, respectively) at 90 minutes and remained elevated until 72 hours. In the exertion-induced muscle injury only group, FMD was reduced from baseline at 24 and 48 hours (7.78%±.14% to 6.75%±.11%, P<.05 and 6.53%±.11%, P<.05, respectively) and returned to baseline after 72 hours. Dilations of NTG were similar over time.

      Conclusions

      Our results suggest that MT attenuates impairment of upper extremity endothelial function resulting from lower extremity exertion-induced muscle injury in sedentary young adults.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      FMD (flow-mediated dilation), MT (massage therapy), NO (nitric oxide), NTG (nitroglycerin), ROM (range of motion), ROS (reactive oxygen species), SR (shear rate)
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