Whats the best way to reduce soreness in your muscles when they are sore to touch?
Below, is research to find out whats the best way. Massage, foam rolling?
Pain pressure threshold of a muscle tender spot increases following local and non-local rolling massage, by Aboodarda, Spence & Button in BMC musculoskeletal disorders (2015)
Pain is very likely the most common reason for visits to a physician in the United States and chronic pain conditions such as low back pain are among the most difficult conditions that physical therapists have to contend with on a daily basis. It is therefore unsurprising that a large body of research has established that pain is a complex and difficult phenomenon to understand. In general, it is now thought that the best way to conceive of pain is as a conscious realisation that a specific part of the body is under a certain level of threat. In other words, pain can be considered as an output of the central nervous system in response to a certain stimulus, which is then altered by its perception of the status of the danger. Perception of the status of the danger is often made in the context of prior information that is held about the threat. Such information is often informed by psychosocial factors. Recent investigations within this model have revealed several key features of both nociception and of the level of pain. It has been found that both nociception and the level of pain can be modulated by a wide range of different biological, psychological, and social factors and that acute and chronic pain display different features. Investigations exploring the effect of various factors on the pain evoked by a standardised stimulus have found that several peripheral variables can alter nociception: for example, increasing inflammation, increasing tissue temperature and reducing blood flow all serve to increase nociceptor activity and thus increase nociception. Similarly, studies have reported that catastrophic beliefs, anxiety, expectation, and attention towards the standardised stimulus may all increase the experience of pain, although the research is conflicting in this area and the exact way in which these psychological factors affect pain is unclear. The observation that acute and chronic pain display different features seems to occur because as as nociception continues and the experience of pain persists for a longer period, the neuronal mechanisms that are involved in each of these phenomena increase in their sensitivity. The neurons that transmit nociceptive information become sensitised with continued nociception and the neuronal networks within the brain that experience pain also become sensitised with prolonged pain, which lead to formerly painless stimuli becoming painful and formerly painful stimuli becoming even more painful.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the immediate effects of roller massage and manual massage of the ipsilateral and contralateral plantar flexors on the pressure pain threshold (PPT) in individuals with tender spots in their plantar flexor muscles (where tender spots were defined as “dense, hypersensitive areas found within a palpable taut band of muscle tissue”), and to assess the time course of these effects.
POPULATION: 150 physically active subjects (80 males, aged 26.7 ± 6.3 years; and 70 females, aged 24.6 ± 6.1 years) with tender spots in the plantar flexor muscles (gastrocnemius or soleus), randomly assigned to 5 groups with 30 subjects in each group: heavy roller massage on the ipsilateral calf (IR), heavy roller massage on the contralateral calf (CR), light stroking of the skin with roller massager on the ipsilateral calf (PLACEBO), manual massage on the ipsilateral calf (IM) and no treatment (CONTROL).
The researchers found significantly higher PPT values following IR (by 24.6 ± 6.9%) and after CR (21.8 ± 7.0%) compared with CONTROL. PPT values were also significantly higher after IR, CR and IM compared with PLACEBO.
Time course of effects
The researchers found that PPT was significantly reduced over the time course of the post-test measurements. The measurement at 15 minutes was significantly lower than immediately post-treatment (by 12.5 ± 4.2%). The type of treatment did not affect the time course.
What did the researchers conclude?
The researchers concluded that heavy roller massage and manual massage on the tender spots in calf muscles leads to reduced sensitivity to pressure- induced pain (as indicated by increasing PPT) in comparison with a light roller massage placebo or a non-treatment control. The same effects of heavy roller massage were observed irrespective of whether the treatment was performed on the ipsilateral or on the contralateral calf muscles, implying that central rather than peripheral mechanisms are responsible for these changes.
The study was limited in that no measurement of ankle joint range of motion was recorded, so it is unclear whether the treatment also affected flexibility was well as pressure-induced pain threshold.