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Efficacy of Lower Limb Compression and Combined Treatment of Manual Massage and Lower Limb Compression on Symptoms of Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in Women

Jakeman, John R; Byrne, Chris; Eston, Roger G

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 11 - p 3157-3165
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e4f80c
Original Research

Jakeman, JR, Byrne, C, and Eston, RG. Efficacy of lower limb compression and combined treatment of manual massage and lower limb compression on symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage in women. J Strength Cond Res 24(11): 3157-3165, 2010-Strategies to manage the symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) are widespread, though are often based on anecdotal evidence. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of a combination of manual massage and compressive clothing and compressive clothing individually as recovery strategies after muscle damage. Thirty-two female volunteers completed 100 plyometric drop jumps and were randomly assigned to a passive recovery (n = 17), combined treatment (n = 7), or compression treatment group (n = 8). Indices of muscle damage (perceived soreness, creatine kinase activity, isokinetic muscle strength, squat jump, and countermovement jump performance) were assessed immediately before and after 1, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours of plyometric exercise. The compression treatment group wore compressive tights for 12 hours after damage and the combined treatment group received a 30-minute massage immediately after damaging exercise and wore compression stockings for the following 11.5 hours. Plyometric exercise had a significant effect on all indices of muscle damage (p < 0.05). The treatments significantly reduced decrements in isokinetic muscle strength, squat jump performance, and countermovement jump performance and reduced the level of perceived soreness in comparison with the passive recovery group (p < 0.05). The addition of sports massage to compression after muscle damage did not improve performance recovery, with recovery trends being similar in both treatment groups. The treatment combination of massage and compression significantly moderated perceived soreness at 48 and 72 hours after plyometric exercise (p < 0.05) in comparison with the passive recovery or compression alone treatment. The results indicate that the use of lower limb compression and a combined treatment of manual massage with lower limb compression are effective recovery strategies following EIMD. Minimal performance differences between treatments were observed, although the combination treatment may be beneficial in controlling perceived soreness.

School of Sport and Health Science, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to John R. Jakeman,

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association