Vigorous exercise causes tiny tears in muscle fibers, leading to an immune reaction — inflammation — as the body gets to work repairing the injured cells. So the researchers screened the tissue from the massaged and unmassaged legs to compare their repair processes and find out what difference massage would make.
Massage causes physiological changes in your body through:
The relaxation response, which is involuntary, yet the predictable response of the nervous system to massage techniques and touch
Mechanical responses, which are physical effects that occur in the body when pressure is applied to the soft tissues
Starting in her 30s, Barbara Schulties began suffering from debilitating headaches, which she describes as “someone taking a hot poker to my eye.” Besides excruciating head pain, the Santa Cruz resident lists a host of accompanying symptoms: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty focusing, and hypersensitivity to light, noise, and even wind on her face.
A cramp is where the muscle tightens so much it feels like it’s stuck, and it hurts like heck!
A spasm doesn’t hurt as much (if at all) but the muscle throbs as if you are flexing and relaxing.
Skeletal muscle cramps can be categorized into four major types. These include “true” cramps, tetany, contractures, and dystonic cramps. Cramps are categorized according to their different causes and the muscle groups they affect
Should you spring for a stint in the post-marathon massage tent? Get a regular rubdown to help your recovery as you train? Research shows that sports massage doesn’t always do what you think it does—but it may still help you recover from a tough workout.
Most importantly: Sports massage doesn’t flush lactic acid, or other “toxins,” from your muscles. Lactic acid is produced during exercise, and you might associate it with a burning feeling during hard work, but it’s not a problem, isn’t responsible for next-day soreness, and doesn’t need help to be removed from the muscles.