Effects of an athlete specific lower limb massage versus a pre-determined protocol of lower
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background- Sports massage is used as a therapy for prevention and management of soft tissue injuries. However there is an absence in current literature which suggests the usefulness of sports massage as a pre-performance tool. Although there are a few studies available which look at pre-performance massage on sprint performance, they are lacking, and all of these use a pre-determined protocol of massage rather than an athlete specific massage. Aim- The purpose of this study was to discover whether an athlete specific lowerlimb massage would have a positive effect on male rugby and football players’ sprint performance when compared to a pre-determined lower-limb massage. Method- 10 male students from Cardiff Metropolitan University agreed to take part in this study. They were randomly split into two groups, where both groups received a 20 minute lower limb massage however one group followed a pre-determined protocol, and the other received a massage specific to what they felt necessary. The clients were in a prone position and received a quick stimulating massage which involved effleurage, tapotement and petrissage. They then did three 30 metre sprint trials from which the mean of their result was noted. 72 hours later the participants switched over and received the opposite massage intervention, and then had their sprint times tested again. Results- A two-way repeated measures analysis of variance test shown that there was no significant difference between a pre-determined massage protocol and an athlete specific massage on sprint performance (p>0.05). Conclusion- The findings of this study suggest that there is no difference between an athlete specific massage and a pre-determined massage protocol on sprint performance. Additional research should be made in order to support the use of sports massage as a pre performance tool.
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