Investigating the mechanisms of massage efficacy: the role of mechanical immunomodulation.

Waters-Banker, C., Dupont-Versteegden, E. E., Kitzman, P. H., & Butterfield, T. A. (2014). Investigating the mechanisms of massage efficacy: the role of mechanical immunomodulation. Journal of Athletic Training, 49(2), 266–73“.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3975781/.

This literature review explores the mechanisms by which massage therapy activates potentially beneficial immunomodulatory pathways, which could potentially decrease secondary injury, nerve sensitization, collateral sprouting, increase recovery from damage, and reduce/prevent pain. The article covers the following topics: the inflammatory response to muscle injury, the afferent nerve response to muscle injury, the physiologic effects of mechanotransduction, and the immunomodulatory effects of massage. The authors conclude that much more research in this area is required to identify specific signaling pathways and application techniques to provide further recommendations.

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