The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of transverse friction massage (TFM) on flexor carpi radialis (FCR) motoneuron (MN) pool excitability. Twenty-eight healthy subjects were randomly assigned into massage and control groups. Pre- vs post-TFM H-reflex data were collected. Controls received a rest period instead of massage. Massage dose was standardized by a novel electronic method which recorded the massage rate, momentary pressure and total cumulative pressure (energy). Two-way ANOVA of H/M ratios derived from maximal amplitudes of Hoffman reflexes (Hmax) and motor responses (Mmax) was used to analyze neurological effects and group differences. Analysis of pressure/time curve data showed: mean massage rate was 0.501+/-0.005 Hz; mean duration of massage sessions was 184.6+/-26.4s; mean peak pressure was 4.990+/-1.006 psi. Hmax/Mmax ratios declined from 14.3% to 10.3% for massage (P<0.01) but showed no change for controls (P>0.05). In conclusion a novel quantitative approach to the study of massage has been demonstrated while testing the effects of TFM on FCR MN pool excitability. TFM appears to reduce MN pool excitability.
Department of Physical Therapy, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC. email@example.com
Lee HM, Wu SK, You JY.
Man Ther. 2009 Oct;14(5):501-7. Epub 2008 Nov 22.