Massage Improves Growth Quality by Decreasing Body Fat Deposition in Male Preterm Infants.
Researcher from Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, conducted experiments to assess the effect of massage on weight gain and body fat deposition in preterm infants. The research was recently published in Journal of Pediatrics
Preterm infants (29-32 weeks) were randomized to the massage group (12 girls, 10 boys) or the control group (12 girls, 10 boys). Treatment was masked with massage or control care administered twice-daily by licensed massage therapists (6 d/wk for 4 weeks). Body weight, length, Ponderal Index (PI), body circumferences, and skinfold thickness (triceps, mid-thigh, and subscapular [SSF]) were measured. Circulating insulin-like growth factor I, leptin, and adiponectin levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Daily dietary intake was collected.
The results showed that energy and protein intake as well as increase in weight, length, and body circumferences were similar. Male infants in the massage group had smaller PI, triceps skinfold thickness, mid-thigh skinfold thickness, and SSF and increases over time compared with control male infants. Female infants in the massage group had larger SSF increases than control female infants. Circulating adiponectin increased over time in control group male infants.
The authors concluded that twice-daily massage did not promote greater weight gain in preterm infants. Massage did, however, limit body fat deposition in male preterm infants. Massage decreased circulating adiponectin over time in male infants with higher adiponectin concentrations associated with increased body fat. These findings suggest that massage may improve body fat deposition and, in turn, growth quality of preterm infants in a sex-specific manner.
Craniosacral therapy in chronic neck pain patients–a randomised sham-controlled trial
Researchers from Germany recently conducted a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of craniosacral therapy (CST) for treatment of chronic pain. The preliminary results were published in European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 4 (August 2012) Supplements.
A total of 54 patients suffering from chronic non-specific neck pain were randomised 1:1 to either a CST group or a sham therapy group. Patients in the CST group were treated 8 times once a week for 45 min according to an Upledger standardised therapy protocol, including the still point technique, diaphragm release, compression–decompression and mobilisation of the cranial bones, facial balancing in regions of shoulder and pelvis and somato-emotional unwinding. During the sham sessions of the same extent, therapists placed their hands on various parts of the clothed body for 2 min each time. The primary endpoint was change in pain intensity on a 100-mm-visual analogue scale (VAS) from pre- to post-treatment. The Neck Disability Index (NDI), pressure pain thresholds (PPT) and Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I) were secondary endpoints.
Preliminary intention-to-treat analysis revealed significant less pain intensity in the CST group compared to the sham group. With time, group differences on neck-pain-specific disability and pressure pain thresholds showed a positive trend, but did not achieve the level of significance. CST patients reported also strong global improvement, while the sham group rated between “no change” and only “a little better”.
Preliminary results suggest that CST might be more effective in relieving chronic non-specific neck pain than sham treatment. Final analysis will be conducted upon termination of the study.
Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on therapeutic massage for low back pain
A group called the Ottawa Panel conduct a review "To update evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (EBCPG) on massage therapy compared to control or other treatment for adults (>18 years) suffering from acute, sub-acute and chronic low back pain (LBP). "
The authors conducted a literature search for relevant articles between January 1, 1948 and December 31, 2010. Eligibility criteria were then applied focussing on participants, interventions, controls, and outcomes, as well as methodological quality. Recommendations based on this evidence were then assigned a grade (A, B, C, C+, D, D+, D−) based on their strength.
A total of 100 recommendations were formulated from 11 eligible articles, including 37 positive recommendations (25 grade A and 12 grade C+) and 63 neutral recommendations (49 grade C, 12 grade D, and 2 grade D+). These guidelines indicate that massage therapy is effective at providing pain relief and improving functional status.
The Ottawa Panel concluded that they were able to demonstrate that massage interventions are effective to provide short term improvement of sub-acute and chronic LBP symptoms and decreasing disability at immediate post treatment and short term relief when massage therapy is combined with therapeutic exercise and education.
This review was published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.
Effects of sports massage and intermittent cold-water immersion on recovery from matches by basketball players
A study by researchers from London Metropolitan University compared the effects of intermittent cold-water immersion and massage on perceptual and performance markers of recovery by basketball players after competitive matches. Eight men (age 23 ± 3 years) and eight women (age 22 ± 2 years) basketball players participated. Massage, cold-water immersion or control were applied immediately after competitive matches, followed by assessments of perceptual measures of recovery and physical performance, countermovement jump and repeated-sprint ability 24 h after intervention.
There was lower perception of fatigue overall and in the legs immediately after the massage and cold-water immersion condition. Furthermore, women had a lower perception of fatigue in cold-water immersion than massage at any testing time. Jump performance was greater after cold-water immersion than the control condition. There was no effect of any of the recovery interventions on repeated-sprint measures .
The results suggest that both massage and cold-water immersion improve perceptual measures of recovery. Furthermore, cold-water immersion improves jump performance although neither such immersion nor massage had an effect on repeated-sprint ability. This suggests that, overall, cold-water immersion is more useful than massage in the recovery from basketball matches, especially in women.
The study was published in J Sports Sci. 2012 Aug 31.
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