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Stretching and massage don't help muscles

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  • aziz_n1aziz_n1 Member Posts: 140 Member Member Posts: 140 Member
    Both do help, especially if done correctly and if possible by an expert, i.e. your physio or Osteopath. Always amazes me how after a good session with my Osteopath, my aching, stiff body & limbs feel so relaxed and loose, giving me real freedom of movement.
    Even more amazing is how, in order to free a certain part of the body or a limb, he will do things at other locations on the body or frame that you would not believe are linked, e.g. powerfully massaging & stretching the feet to cure problems in my knees or lower back...ecstasy!!!
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 6,960 Member Member Posts: 6,960 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    The massage isn’t helping the muscle, but rather the brain, nerves, joints, and tendons.

    If massaging helped the muscle, it would heal torn muscles, which is unheard of. It's not magical re-generation of body parts, or instant repair of broken muscle fibres.
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Given that the result of the massage is a physical improvement in the muscle's function, that seems to be splitting the hair a bit too finely...

    That's trying to make it about the muscle again when nothing happened to change the muscle.

    I've seen too many runners seriously depressed from not running due to injuries because they talk about sore muscles and spend money on stretching routines and massage, when the cause and treatment ends up being unrelated to the condition of the actual muscles.

    But I don't mind if using the wrong term for something makes people feel better about knowing they're wrong about using it, that's fine. :heart: xo

    However, accuracy in medical terminology and knowlege is a big problem in the world, not just the fitness industry, and it's very important in getting the right diagnosis and treatment for oneself so we can keep being healthy and active.

    edited August 2019
  • glovepuppetglovepuppet Member Posts: 1,743 Member Member Posts: 1,743 Member
    All mammals and birds stretch, so I'm going to guess that there's a reason for it, even if it's not been found. And it feels good.
    Massage, I never got anything out of it until I hit my 40s and noticed that the areas of shin splints and foot pain felt almost grainy, massage seemed to clear it away, and away went the pain. The grainy feeling is only there when there's pain/injury.

    Not very scientific, I'm not about to declare that this is proof, but it's working for me so I'll continue.
  • ceiswynceiswyn Member Posts: 2,222 Member Member Posts: 2,222 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    Orphia wrote: »
    The massage isn’t helping the muscle, but rather the brain, nerves, joints, and tendons.

    If massaging helped the muscle, it would heal torn muscles, which is unheard of. It's not magical re-generation of body parts, or instant repair of broken muscle fibres.
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Given that the result of the massage is a physical improvement in the muscle's function, that seems to be splitting the hair a bit too finely...

    That's trying to make it about the muscle again when nothing happened to change the muscle.

    I've seen too many runners seriously depressed from not running due to injuries because they talk about sore muscles and spend money on stretching routines and massage, when the cause and treatment ends up being unrelated to the condition of the actual muscles.

    But I don't mind if using the wrong term for something makes people feel better about knowing they're wrong about using it, that's fine. :heart: xo

    However, accuracy in medical terminology and knowlege is a big problem in the world, not just the fitness industry, and it's very important in getting the right diagnosis and treatment for oneself so we can keep being healthy and active.

    The problem there isn’t that massage isn’t effective, it’s that it’s being used incorrectly.

    I am currently using massage (foam rollering) to treat a hip problem. It was prescribed by my physio to increase my range of motion. I am also performing exercises that strengthen the muscles around the joint. Are you going to tell me that I shouldn’t be using massage because it doesn’t technically affect the condition of the actual muscles? Wouldn’t that be a ridiculous thing for someone to advise?

    The solution to people massaging muscles when the problem is elsewhere isn’t to split hairs about whether massage is technically healing the muscle. It’s to advise people to get their issues properly diagnosed.
    edited August 2019
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 6,960 Member Member Posts: 6,960 Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    The solution to people massaging muscles when the problem is elsewhere isn’t to split hairs about whether massage is technically healing the muscle. It’s to advise people to get their issues properly diagnosed.


    The solution to proper diagnosis and care is both accuracy in terminology AND correct treatment.

    Your physio isn't telling you the foam rolling is healing the muscle. They said, it will "increase my range of motion", i.e. what we've been saying about joint mobility.

    Likewise (though irrelevant to the body of the discussion), the exercises the physio prescribed are not stretching or massage to "strengthen the muscles around the joint". They're exercises.

    If you had "split hairs" and referred to your hip, nerves, joints and tendons when appropriate, you would have saved yourself a long discussion defending your statement that stretching and massage help your "muscles".

    Sorry if this sounds confronting to you. It's said in a neutral tone of voice. Kind regards.
  • Asher_EthanAsher_Ethan Member Posts: 2,430 Member Member Posts: 2,430 Member
    Great discussion.
    I teach ballet for a living and I've been implementing dynamic stretching in the beginning of class and static stretching at the end of class for years because of these studies.
    But when I substitute teach for other teachers and do dynamic stretching in the beginning of class I ALWAYS get backlash from the students and teachers about how we need to start with static stretching because, "that's just how it's always been done."
    I've tried talking to the other teachers about it but it's hard to change other people's minds (even though I'm 34 and the most flexible teacher).
    Should I stick to my ways and tell them not to use me as a sub if they don't like it? Or should I give in and start with static stretching?
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,582 Member Member Posts: 17,582 Member
    Great discussion.
    I teach ballet for a living and I've been implementing dynamic stretching in the beginning of class and static stretching at the end of class for years because of these studies.
    But when I substitute teach for other teachers and do dynamic stretching in the beginning of class I ALWAYS get backlash from the students and teachers about how we need to start with static stretching because, "that's just how it's always been done."
    I've tried talking to the other teachers about it but it's hard to change other people's minds (even though I'm 34 and the most flexible teacher).
    Should I stick to my ways and tell them not to use me as a sub if they don't like it? Or should I give in and start with static stretching?

    Tell 'em this is the way it's being done today because you are teaching, and are merely going on more recent research which tells you that you morally can't request harmful things when you know - and they can try something new for however many days you are leading the class.
  • mbaker566mbaker566 Member Posts: 10,979 Member Member Posts: 10,979 Member
    Great discussion.
    I teach ballet for a living and I've been implementing dynamic stretching in the beginning of class and static stretching at the end of class for years because of these studies.
    But when I substitute teach for other teachers and do dynamic stretching in the beginning of class I ALWAYS get backlash from the students and teachers about how we need to start with static stretching because, "that's just how it's always been done."
    I've tried talking to the other teachers about it but it's hard to change other people's minds (even though I'm 34 and the most flexible teacher).
    Should I stick to my ways and tell them not to use me as a sub if they don't like it? Or should I give in and start with static stretching?

    i wouldn't change. if they don't like it, they don't need to use you
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 21,891 Member Member Posts: 21,891 Member
    Great discussion.
    I teach ballet for a living and I've been implementing dynamic stretching in the beginning of class and static stretching at the end of class for years because of these studies.
    But when I substitute teach for other teachers and do dynamic stretching in the beginning of class I ALWAYS get backlash from the students and teachers about how we need to start with static stretching because, "that's just how it's always been done."
    I've tried talking to the other teachers about it but it's hard to change other people's minds (even though I'm 34 and the most flexible teacher).
    Should I stick to my ways and tell them not to use me as a sub if they don't like it? Or should I give in and start with static stretching?

    I wouldn't change, with the possible exception of mentioning the benefits of dynamic stretching at the beginning of the class.

    I'm a certified yoga teacher, and we were taught to do do dynamic warmups before static stretching. I cringed when I went to other teacher's classes who hadn't gotten that memo and started with static stretching.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 21,891 Member Member Posts: 21,891 Member
    Question: is foam rolling considered a massage or stretching, or is it it’s own special thing? Because I’ve found stretching to be useless to me, massage is nice but yea doesn’t really help muscles... but foam rolling does the trick and I was super skeptical when I tried it but it works for me, no one can seem to concretely explain why though.

    Foam rolling was recommended by the P.T. who I saw for a *bad* IT band injury. My right band can get super-tight but I have a high pain tolerance, hence I really screwed it up by continuing to hike through the pain. Foam rolling was encouraged to "break" up the tension. :shrugs: It worked, along with the other floor exercises. Even now, when my thighs get tension, the foam rolling provides instant relief.

    I hurt my hamstrings whenever I do extensive gardening. Foam rolling always provides relief.
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 6,960 Member Member Posts: 6,960 Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Ultimately, massage is an essential part of a treatment that is healing my muscles, though. Don’t split the hairs so finely that you lose the actual point in the detail.

    I mean, if you really want to be picky, very few treatments actually heal anything. Bandages don’t heal, they just protect the wound and provide a good environment for the body to rebuild tissues. Antibiotics don’t heal, they kill bacteria. Surgery definitely doesn’t heal, it just cuts things apart and reassembles them in an improved position, from which the body then heals itself. Do you ensure that people understand that they’re not actually healing the wound when they put on antiseptic and a band-aid?

    You don't say, "I'm putting a bandaid on to heal my headache".

    I'd like to just remind everyone that you said:
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    I am currently using massage (foam rollering) to treat a hip problem.

    The massage isn't to heal your muscles, the problem is with your hip.

    The whole point is that massage doesn't heal muscles, and everything you've said proved my point.
    edited August 2019
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 6,960 Member Member Posts: 6,960 Member
    "Hip problem" refers to bones and joints in everyday language.

    If you'd explain what type of hip problem it is, we might not feel so much in opposition.

    edited August 2019
  • BachataDancerBachataDancer Member Posts: 77 Member Member Posts: 77 Member
    I stretch after I run. If I don't, I feel stiff like an old woman... and because it feels good so meh 🤪
    edited August 2019
  • ceiswynceiswyn Member Posts: 2,222 Member Member Posts: 2,222 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Ultimately, massage is an essential part of a treatment that is healing my muscles, though. Don’t split the hairs so finely that you lose the actual point in the detail.

    I mean, if you really want to be picky, very few treatments actually heal anything. Bandages don’t heal, they just protect the wound and provide a good environment for the body to rebuild tissues. Antibiotics don’t heal, they kill bacteria. Surgery definitely doesn’t heal, it just cuts things apart and reassembles them in an improved position, from which the body then heals itself. Do you ensure that people understand that they’re not actually healing the wound when they put on antiseptic and a band-aid?

    You don't say, "I'm putting a bandaid on to heal my headache".

    I'd like to just remind everyone that you said:
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    I am currently using massage (foam rollering) to treat a hip problem.

    The massage isn't to heal your muscles, the problem is with your hip.

    The whole point is that massage doesn't heal muscles, and everything you've said proved my point.

    The massage is an essential part of treating an issue with the muscles and ligaments of my hips. It is improving the mechanical function. Without it, the muscles and ligaments wouldn’t be getting better. By the same standards we apply to the rest of medicine, it’s helping!

    Or do you feel the need to carefully explain to people that antibiotics, surgery and many medications don’t technically heal anything?
    edited August 2019
  • LAT1963LAT1963 Member, Premium Posts: 1,359 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,359 Member
    Feels good, does no harm, gonna stretch when I feel like it.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,169 Member Member Posts: 1,169 Member
    Well now that this has been bumped...
    I'm noticing there is a thread of people saying massage works because of anecdote. I think even well intentioned and aware people forget the power of the placebo effect, or worse, think knowing of its existence somehow is a prophylactic from it - it isn't.
    To truly know if massage helps beyond the attention, there would need to be a control to compare it to. It could range from having massage done while a person is not awake and aware (hard to do), compared to control subjects having nothing done. Or a simpler set up would be to have someone do touching like massage with no experience, insight, or technique designed to help, but the subject receiving not know this.

    The difficulty in establishing placebo controls has haunted a lot of pain medicine with how deeply subjective pain is an issue. That last decade or so has seen a lot of actual surgical interventions even called into question as sham surgeries have shown some surgeries for pain and mobility issues actually do nothing.

    To say the least, some of the mechanisms purported behind massage just aren't there. For example, claims of manual adjustment and myofascial release don't tend to stand up to the scrutiny of actual anatomy and physiology - many of the claimed "structures" "adjusted" would require strength beyond what a human can generate to actually alter them.
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