Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2019

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44 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a y / j u n e 2 0 1 9 (MVIC), and performance via single leg drop jumps. There were six measurement points within each test day: pre-protocol, baseline (just before the first RM bout), after RM bout 1 (RM1), after RM bout 2 (RM2), after the whole intervention/RM bout 3 (post), and 10 minutes after (post-10) the whole RM intervention. All measures were taken at pre-protocol, baseline, post, and post-10. In addition, ROM and performance (single leg drop jumps) were also measured at RM1 and RM2 to assess the effects of repeated RM bouts. Data analysis found that there were significant improvements in active and passive ROM immediately and 10 minutes after the RM intervention for all groups and that no between-group differences existed. In other words, RM improved ROM whether performed at low (50 percent), moderate (70 percent), or high (90 percent) pressure loads relative to maximum rate of individualized perceived pain. The RM intervention had no impact on any aspect of the study's performance measure (drop jumps) or knee extension and flexion MVIC (study measures of strength). This study's findings align with other research that indicates RM improves ROM and does not negatively affect muscle strength or performance. This study was also able to demonstrate that RM pressures of 50–90 percent of an individual's maximum rate of perceived pain can improve ROM in healthy, regularly exercising young people without impairing strength or performance. PRACTICE APPLICATION AND RELEVANCE Article titles are important. Titles have the ability to catch readers' attention, convey key items covered, and place the subject matter within the literature context it is contributing to. Article titles also have the potential to be intentionally or unintentionally misleading, which can impact the way the article is received by various audiences. The overall message conveyed in this article's title is initially misleading if the reader does not know the context in which the statement is made and is, therefore, likely unintentionally misleading to certain audiences. A perfunctory read of the title ("Higher quadriceps roller massage forces do not amplify range-of-motion increases nor impair strength and jump performance") leads to a general negative outcomes impression for the study: roller massage isn't beneficial for ROM but doesn't hurt (nothing about helping) strength or performance. However, after reading the article, we learn that ROM improved within each of the three roller massage force levels. The title is simply indicating that more (in this case, deeper/higher pressure) doesn't equal better. In addition, we also learn from the article that static stretching has been demonstrated to lead to performance decrements. Knowing this information and that rolling massage (which stretches muscle) did not decrease strength or jump performance points to roller massage as a potential alternative to static stretching to support ROM when maximum performance is desired. For massage therapists who work with athletes or in an exercise and/or fitness environment, foam rolling and the related research is likely already integrated into practice. However, principles and takeaways from roller massage research have several avenues for integration into massage practice with nonathlete or fitness-related populations. First, the idea of self-massage or self-myofascial release can be integrated into almost all populations who seek or use massage therapy. Self-massage can also benefit people for whom massage therapy is inaccessible due to out-of-pocket costs or other reasons. Foam rollers or other similar handheld tools can deliver self-applied cyclical mechanical load to massage and stretch underlying tissue between massage therapy treatments, thereby potentially supporting or helping maintain treatment effects between sessions. To my knowledge, research on the extent to which foam rolling or other self-applied massage or mimetic supports or enhances therapist-applied massage effects between treatments has not been conducted. However, the existing research provides theoretical support for such applications. As a former massage therapist and current massage researcher, I often encourage people I encounter to self-apply massage for pain management and function optimization. Now that I am also familiar with the foam rolling research, I have another tool to encourage people to use for function support. A key piece to this is also that RM or similar applications need not cause pain or discomfort to be effective with regard to improved function or ROM. This

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