THE COMPARATIVE EFFECT OF MASSAGE ON PERFORMANCE OF THE YOUNG AND ELDERLY

  • J.M. Cooper
  • D.M. Koceja

Abstract

PURPOSE - The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effectiveness of deep muscle massage on the production of peak force in young and elderly subjects. METHODS Twenty-four subjects, six of each gender in each age category, sewed as subjects. Young subjects were college age controls, between the ages of 18 and 28 years, whereas the elderly subjects were between the ages of 60-70 years. All subjects were free of any orthopedic and/or neuromuscular disorders, as indicated by self report. Each subject was tested on two days, which were counterbalanced across all subjects. On day one, subjects performed maximal knee extension strength on a Cybex isokinetic dynamometer (60 degrees per second). Subjects performed three warm-up trials at 50 percent effort followed by five maximal force trials. On day two, the identical results were preceded by deep muscle massage (15 minutes duration) of the quadriceps muscle, administered by an experienced masseuse. On each maximal strength trial, the dependent variables were peak isokinetic force and the time to reach peak force. Data was analyzed utilizing a 2 X 2 (Group X Condition) ANOVA. Where appropriate post-hoc analyses were run to determine significant differences. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS Results indicated increases in peak force and decreases in time to peak force for the massage therapy. These results suggest that massage therapy may be a beneficial intervention protocol for the enhancement of peak force, although the number of days, and duration of message remain to be explored.