Benefits of Massage on Novice Runners

A study has been published that focuses on the benefits of massage for those taking up running to get fit or maintain health. The study comprised a ten week period with 16 runners recieving a half hour massage treatment once a week, while 12 control participants recieved no massage. All participants were asked to complete a daily journal, wherein muscle strength, leg pain, daily functioning, and running confidence were assessed. At the conclusion of the training period,  participants were asked to complete a 10 kilometre run.

According to researchers KA Dawson and others, the runners recieving massage didn't experience any change in, 'muscle strength, pain perception, daily functioning or running confidence', but 100% of the massage group completed the race versus only 58.3% of those who did not recieve treatment.

The researchers note that the running behaviour of the groups was very similar, with similar training programmes created. While each group ran with a considerable amount of pain, massage appears to have increased the tolerance of the runners to it. This study is the newest addition to the large amount of research that has been done in recent years on the relationship our pain threshold has to receiving regular massage.