Post Workout massage why?

I understand the preworkout and the massages during the workout, but why is a massage prescribed post workout when that increases the inflammation? Is removing metabolic wastes of a higher priority at this point then controlling the inflammation, or for the relaxing affect?

I thought that ice baths are used as soon as possible after a workout to control the inflammation, and the massage would increase the inflammation. A better comprehension of the interaction between the circulator and lymphatic system would help in a greater understanding.

Ice baths numb nerve endings and reduce pain, however they decrease blood flow which is vital in healing tissue damage. Massage post workout increases blood flow and yes, allows more meatbolic waste to be removed which takes precidence over reducing inflammation - something the body will do regardless over time. You can also ice the area post massage (after maybe an hour or two) if you want the numbing effects.

IMO ice is very overrated when not used with heat in contrast applications.

My understanding is that generally you use massage on recovery days (tempo days), and ice baths on high intensity days (speed). Massage is used to speed up the recovery process, so post workout makes sense.

Thats a cool question, where did you hear about post massage therapy? Usually after I workout, I contrast shower, which helps cool the body down by starting cold and ending cold, and at the same time, it acts similar to a massage in that it flushes the body. It kind of combines massage and cooling down at the same time!

although, in contrast to you (pun intended) I have been told that I have a window of a about a few hours in which I can contrast shower after a workout. But usually I do it fairly soon after regardless.

It is mentioned in several workout books, in CFTS, by bompa, zatziorsky, stone, etc. I want to find out what the usefullness of doing a post workout message vs cold therapy at the end of a workout would be.

Metabolic waste removal and increased blood flow to repair tissue damage.

we use three kind of massages, semi deep before training during the warm up to gauge the condition of the muscles and smooth out any hard parts, a light stroking one after working out to increase blood flow etc and occasionaly deep tissue but away from training to resolve other issues.

if there is time that is:p

There is no consensus in the literature on the benefits of post exercise massage. That does not necessarily mean there are no physiological benefits. In the future, when imaging techniques improve, science will be able to give a clear mechanism of how and why. Speculating on the effects before knowing the cause is similar to a guessing game.

My understanding is that acute inflammation isn’t bad at all. Infact, it’s actually a crucial part to in the recovery process. It’s CHRONIC inflammation which we do not want. After a workout, getting rid of metabolic wastes and getting blood flowing into the muscles is the goal, and massage or contrasting heat and cold accomplish this.

Apart from helping the flush and feed process after training, the massage would help tease out any tight spots, restore muscle length and expedite the re-setting of “fired” neurons so that they are restored ready for use as soon as possible (so I’ve been advised). So post training massage, which seems to be the normal practice among elite sprinters, gives you an improved chance of avoiding injuries and enhancing performance at the earliest opportunity. Quality of/in training is ultimately more important (to performance results) than quantity.

Not sure contrast or ice can do all of that alone.

So many elite athletes use post exercise massage, you can’t ignore those numbers. I would say those numbers are a big advertisement for the benefits. The studies I have read are not that definitive. Blood profiling would be a good method, but I don’t think elite athletes would like needles stuck in them pre-post workouts. They get enough of that as it is. :smiley:

I doubt massage is ever bad for you unless you do some really deep stuff before speed work.

My advice is try it and see if it helps. While understanding the mechanism of action is helpful, it is of secondary importance. If it works, do it; if it doesn’t, don’t. It’s similar to the debate regarding the usefulness of warm-ups.

Can you send me the debate regarding warm-ups?

I can’t remember where the threads are. It was a while ago, but someone posted a couple links to recent studies questioning the usefulness of warm-ups. There hasn’t been a lot of active debate on the board itself, more references to occasional outside work. Every now and then some PhD feels the need to challenge the wisdom, which is fine, but I don’t think they find many converts.

I remember that study, it was published J of Sports Med, it was highly criticized because it used Army recruits and the length of stretching was very short. Studies are useful when they are can be repeated many times over. This study has no other reporting in the literature to support it.

Under the gaining weight in the GPP thread, Charlie has brought some interesting questions on the topics being discussed here.