Researchers from Colorado State University and the University of Kentucky have made the pretty incredible discovery that massage could increase the regrowth of muscle tissue after an injury — even when applied to the opposite, uninjured limb.
How cool is that?
According to a media release, the researchers demonstrated on rats that muscle grew faster after a massage due to the improvement of cellular protein production. They also showed that when one limb was massaged, the muscle in the other, non-massaged limb also grew faster. The findings have been published in The Journal of Physiology,
Muscle loss occurs rapidly during periods of disuse, such as bedrest, particularly in elderly patients.
First authors on the paper Karyn Hamilton and Ben Miller, faculty members in CSU’s Department of Health and Exercise Science, say the discovery is groundbreaking.
“For instance, if you injured one leg and couldn’t massage it because of that injury, we now have evidence suggesting that massaging the other non-injured leg could lead to benefits in the injured leg,” Hamilton said. “That’s a novel finding with potentially very important implications.”
The researchers are currently beginning similar studies on humans and are hopeful that the results will be similar to those conducted with rats.
Massage as a treatment has very few side effects and has multiple possible benefits.
According to the Mayo Clinic, other studies have also found massage may also be helpful for the following:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
(Image:loganban / 123RF Stock Photo)
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