This past weekend our office had the opportunity to work the Los Gatos Great Race. We were fortunate to get a booth set up for the office right at the finish line of the race where we provided post race stretching and soft tissue therapy for the runners. Although it was only a 4 mile race we had lots of runners sign up for care primarily with minor aches and pains of the calves, knees and low back. Soft tissue work and massage has been around for centuries but how does it work? Why does it work? Recent research has shed light on why soft tissue work/massage after a race or any physical activity for that matter can be so helpful. Don’t get me wrong, I love to share the Chiropractic Kool-Aid with patients but why exactly is it that so many of the patients after getting work done on Sunday felt “So much Better”
Below I’ve listed some information from the Los Angeles Times that was printed in 2012. The article discusses a research project performed on athletes after a run that helps shed some light on how the therapy can be helpful.
“Everyone knows that it can feel really good to get a massage.
The discovery provides strong evidence that massage merits further study as a treatment for injuries and chronic disorders, said Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a researcher at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and lead author ofa study about the research released Wednesday.
Tarnopolsky, who has studied the cellular effects of exercise for decades, performed muscle biopsies in both legs of healthy young men before and after they’d undergone strenuous exercise, and then a third time after massaging just one leg in each individual.
Comparing tissues from each subject’s massaged leg with tissues from his unmassaged leg, Tarnopolsky and his team found that massage therapy reduced exercise-related inflammation by dampening activity of a protein called NF-kB.
Massage also seemed to help cells recover by boosting amounts of another protein called PGC-1alpha, which spurs production of new mitochondria — tiny organelles inside cells that are crucial for muscle energy generation and adaptation to endurance exercise.”
Although we don’t always know exactly how or why different therapies may work it is important to dig deeper and try our best to practice evidence based care. As providers at Vision Quest Spine and Sports Clinic in Los Gatos we do our best to make sure that we continue to learn new techniques and understand our therapies and methodologies according to the research.
Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to give us a call for your sports injuries/back pain/neck pain.
Dr. Dino Del Mastro