Massage and Performance Recovery: A Meta-Analytical Review
Background: Post-exercise massage is one of the most frequently applied interventions to enhance recovery of athletes. However, evidence to support the efficacy of massage for performance recovery is scarce. Moreover, it has not yet been concluded under which conditions massage is effective. Objective: The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available literature on massage for performance recovery. Methods: We conducted a structured literature search and located 22 randomized controlled trials. These were analysed with respect to performance effects and various characteristics of the study design (type and duration of massage, type of exercise and performance test, duration of recovery period, training status of subjects). Results: Of the 22 studies, 5 used techniques of automated massage (e.g. vibration), while the other 17 used classic manual massage.