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Stretching and massage don't help muscles

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  • psuLemonpsuLemon Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,356 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,356 MFP Moderator


    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    edited June 10
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,169 Member Member Posts: 1,169 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,356 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,356 MFP Moderator
    So the infographic talks message and foam rolling and its an ethical issue? I am talking post workout foam rolling or stretching. There is zero ethical issue with it. And it is a great low cost option. Like i said, i have done it... It has helped with issues. Just like post workout stretching has improved things like squat depth. What else has helped with pre-workout warmups.

    And the science isn't going to cover every situation. It looks at the mean response. Look at any study and you will see a wide response. And if you follow any of the good scientist and trainers like Eric Helms, they all say the same thing.. while it's important to understand the evidence available, you also have to consider the individual response when working to clientele.

    ETA: not everything is going to be binary. A lot of these studies are difficult to design and test. So you can certainly promote based on the available limited evidence, or you can draw on what you know and try things based on experience and response.
    edited June 10
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.

    I can't give you a cite (read it in a book, but don't remember which), but I read about some results suggesting that placebos can work even among people who know that they're placebos. If that's true (noting I can't prove it ;) ), that would erase the ethical question, wouldn't it?

    Certainly, I think what I believe Psu is also saying: If I try it, and it helps me, and I'm aware that the effect could be pure placebo, I can't think why I'd care. I don't limit myself to enjoying or benefitting from only things I can explain with hard science. (Obviously, the question of how an MT sells him/herself is ethically different from that.)

    Personally, I'm a massage fan. I don't have an opinion about whether it helps me with DOMS, but it does seem to help me manage/avoid certain kinds of physical problems.

    My subjective impression (<= not science!), is that when I have pain or dysfunction, I tend in compensation to tense muscle groups that aren't directly involved, which increases discomfort. Massage seems to draw my attention to those areas, and help to reduce that compensatory tension, thus reduce discomfort. I've also learned methods from MTs (stretches, changes in habitual movement patterns, etc.), that were beneficial.

    I understand that this has nothing to do with DOMS, but in one case, a physical therapist used massage modalities in a way that made a very substantial difference in my day-to-day comfort. This was work on an area where I had/have scar tissue from surgery and radiation therapy. The scar tissue is mainly chest/underarm, but the effect was constant shoulder tension and jaw-clenching: I had had shoulder discomfort and headaches for literally years. Whatever the heck happened physically from the massage resulted in observable differences in the chest/underarm tissue (my oncologist commented on the change, in fact), as well as very material reduction in discomfort/headaches.

    Regularly, I see a very science-geek MT, who doesn't believe in the the things you say you don't believe (like myofascial release). While he does believe that massage can benefit people, I think he has a bit of professional-existential angst about not really being certain of all the theoretical reasons. (I'm not saying he presents as having no idea how anything he does actually accomplishes positive effects, BTW, but simply that he has some science-oriented questions about the range of underlying mechanisms, and extreme skepticism about the common explanations.) I do appreciate not having to deal with the "auras & crystals in the room-corners" kind of thinking. (And yes, I've had MTs in the past who had a more . . . mystical? . . . understanding of their practice. It didn't necessarily make what they were doing ineffective for me, but it was mildly annoying nonetheless.)

    Personally, like Psu, as a practical matter, I don't care about the theory, except as an intellectual exercise. I wouldn't oversell massage to someone on a theoretical basis, but finding it beneficial personally, I might suggest someone give it a try if they can afford it.

    ETA: It's nice to see you back, Magnus, after what seemed like a period of non-participation here (though maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places).
    edited June 10
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,356 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,356 MFP Moderator
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.

    I can't give you a cite (read it in a book, but don't remember which), but I read about some results suggesting that placebos can work even among people who know that they're placebos. If that's true (noting I can't prove it ;) ), that would erase the ethical question, wouldn't it?

    Certainly, I think what I believe Psu is also saying: If I try it, and it helps me, and I'm aware that the effect could be pure placebo, I can't think why I'd care. I don't limit myself to enjoying or benefitting from only things I can explain with hard science. (Obviously, the question of how an MT sells him/herself is ethically different from that.)

    Personally, I'm a massage fan. I don't have an opinion about whether it helps me with DOMS, but it does seem to help me manage/avoid certain kinds of physical problems.

    My subjective impression (<= not science!), is that when I have pain or dysfunction, I tend in compensation to tense muscle groups that aren't directly involved, which increases discomfort. Massage seems to draw my attention to those areas, and help to reduce that compensatory tension, thus reduce discomfort. I've also learned methods from MTs (stretches, changes in habitual movement patterns, etc.), that were beneficial.

    I understand that this has nothing to do with DOMS, but in one case, a physical therapist used massage modalities in a way that made a very substantial difference in my day-to-day comfort. This was work on an area where I had/have scar tissue from surgery and radiation therapy. The scar tissue is mainly chest/underarm, but the effect was constant shoulder tension and jaw-clenching: I had had shoulder discomfort and headaches for literally years. Whatever the heck happened physically from the massage resulted in observable differences in the chest/underarm tissue (my oncologist commented on the change, in fact), as well as very material reduction in discomfort/headaches.

    Regularly, I see a very science-geek MT, who doesn't believe in the the things you say you don't believe (like myofascial release). While he does believe that massage can benefit people, I think he has a bit of professional-existential angst about not really being certain of all the theoretical reasons. (I'm not saying he presents as having no idea how anything he does actually accomplishes positive effects, BTW, but simply that he has some science-oriented questions about the range of underlying mechanisms, and extreme skepticism about the common explanations.) I do appreciate not having to deal with the "auras & crystals in the room-corners" kind of thinking. (And yes, I've had MTs in the past who had a more . . . mystical? . . . understanding of their practice. It didn't necessarily make what they were doing ineffective for me, but it was mildly annoying nonetheless.)

    Personally, like Psu, as a practical matter, I don't care about the theory, except as an intellectual exercise. I wouldn't oversell massage to someone on a theoretical basis, but finding it beneficial personally, I might suggest someone give it a try if they can afford it.

    ETA: It's nice to see you back, Magnus, after what seemed like a period of non-participation here (though maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places).

    Well said. I will expand, too. I am not suggesting massage or foam rolling as some miracle cure. I am suggesting it has some level of evidence supporting its use and if the individual response to that treatment modality is favorable, then there is no reason to not incorporate it in their routine.

  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,169 Member Member Posts: 1,169 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.

    I can't give you a cite (read it in a book, but don't remember which), but I read about some results suggesting that placebos can work even among people who know that they're placebos. If that's true (noting I can't prove it ;) ), that would erase the ethical question, wouldn't it?

    Certainly, I think what I believe Psu is also saying: If I try it, and it helps me, and I'm aware that the effect could be pure placebo, I can't think why I'd care. I don't limit myself to enjoying or benefitting from only things I can explain with hard science. (Obviously, the question of how an MT sells him/herself is ethically different from that.)

    Personally, I'm a massage fan. I don't have an opinion about whether it helps me with DOMS, but it does seem to help me manage/avoid certain kinds of physical problems.

    My subjective impression (<= not science!), is that when I have pain or dysfunction, I tend in compensation to tense muscle groups that aren't directly involved, which increases discomfort. Massage seems to draw my attention to those areas, and help to reduce that compensatory tension, thus reduce discomfort. I've also learned methods from MTs (stretches, changes in habitual movement patterns, etc.), that were beneficial.

    I understand that this has nothing to do with DOMS, but in one case, a physical therapist used massage modalities in a way that made a very substantial difference in my day-to-day comfort. This was work on an area where I had/have scar tissue from surgery and radiation therapy. The scar tissue is mainly chest/underarm, but the effect was constant shoulder tension and jaw-clenching: I had had shoulder discomfort and headaches for literally years. Whatever the heck happened physically from the massage resulted in observable differences in the chest/underarm tissue (my oncologist commented on the change, in fact), as well as very material reduction in discomfort/headaches.

    Regularly, I see a very science-geek MT, who doesn't believe in the the things you say you don't believe (like myofascial release). While he does believe that massage can benefit people, I think he has a bit of professional-existential angst about not really being certain of all the theoretical reasons. (I'm not saying he presents as having no idea how anything he does actually accomplishes positive effects, BTW, but simply that he has some science-oriented questions about the range of underlying mechanisms, and extreme skepticism about the common explanations.) I do appreciate not having to deal with the "auras & crystals in the room-corners" kind of thinking. (And yes, I've had MTs in the past who had a more . . . mystical? . . . understanding of their practice. It didn't necessarily make what they were doing ineffective for me, but it was mildly annoying nonetheless.)

    Personally, like Psu, as a practical matter, I don't care about the theory, except as an intellectual exercise. I wouldn't oversell massage to someone on a theoretical basis, but finding it beneficial personally, I might suggest someone give it a try if they can afford it.

    ETA: It's nice to see you back, Magnus, after what seemed like a period of non-participation here (though maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places).

    Placebo absolutely works even if someone is aware of the effect being a thing. Just at the top of the page I put, "or worse, think knowing of its existence somehow is a prophylactic from it - it isn't."
    That said, no. When I said it is an ethical question, I mean open in the field of medical ethics itself, where it is known it happens even if the person is aware. There are ways for doctors to write a scrip that will be a placebo. There are medical professionals opposed to that being an allowed practice. One of the more common concerns is that giving someone a placebo is a kind of writing off the patient instead of investigating their issue to give care - it is about doing what is convenient for the physician over what it is best practices.

    As for the rest, I kind of hinted at the problems that can happen from using a treatment that feels good when only caring about the relief. Cryotherapy certainly aids in recovery and if all we had in terms of research was the perception of that relief, advising it would be problematic because it actually hinders muscle growth. I think it obvious the problem with doing intense workouts, icing one self up to relieve pain and perform better on the next workout, just to have all the muscle gains of the workout negating, right? A person could easily end up spinning their wheels based on using what they feel working without realizing side effects.
    Massage is probably more benign in that regard. I'm not aware of research suggesting a change in adaption from using it.
    Coincidentally enough, I had a massage in January for just the simple reason that I wanted to give my skin a going away gift - I had skin removal surgery - originally scheduled January, got ill the night before, and ended up doing the surgery February 25th, and that's a bit of why I've been absent from posting. This isn't exactly the ideal time to be someone recovering from surgery, but that's hindsight. Even under times when the rest of the world would have been more ideal for it, my recovery wasn't straight forward. I had 3 units of blood transfused because I kept losing a lot initially and couldn't even stand up without becoming dizzy in seconds. A hospital overnight turned into 3 nights. Drains are usually out in 1 or 2 weeks, I believe, but I still had 2 of the 4 drains in until just after 4 weeks.
    So yeah, surgery, bleeding, recovering, pandemic, 2 sons with in person school cancelled that I'm trying to keep somewhat with on their online stuff, going back to work, then having my family that was helping return home as soon as I was off restrictions because they live in an area with less COVID cases, there's been a lot going on for me.

    On the plus side, at the 8 weeks with lifting restrictions done, I had the small luck of having kept my squat rack and barbell setup from when I moved and joined a gym 2 years ago. So I've been kind of getting back to that while so many other people are waiting on gyms reopening.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,169 Member Member Posts: 1,169 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.

    I can't give you a cite (read it in a book, but don't remember which), but I read about some results suggesting that placebos can work even among people who know that they're placebos. If that's true (noting I can't prove it ;) ), that would erase the ethical question, wouldn't it?

    Certainly, I think what I believe Psu is also saying: If I try it, and it helps me, and I'm aware that the effect could be pure placebo, I can't think why I'd care. I don't limit myself to enjoying or benefitting from only things I can explain with hard science. (Obviously, the question of how an MT sells him/herself is ethically different from that.)

    Personally, I'm a massage fan. I don't have an opinion about whether it helps me with DOMS, but it does seem to help me manage/avoid certain kinds of physical problems.

    My subjective impression (<= not science!), is that when I have pain or dysfunction, I tend in compensation to tense muscle groups that aren't directly involved, which increases discomfort. Massage seems to draw my attention to those areas, and help to reduce that compensatory tension, thus reduce discomfort. I've also learned methods from MTs (stretches, changes in habitual movement patterns, etc.), that were beneficial.

    I understand that this has nothing to do with DOMS, but in one case, a physical therapist used massage modalities in a way that made a very substantial difference in my day-to-day comfort. This was work on an area where I had/have scar tissue from surgery and radiation therapy. The scar tissue is mainly chest/underarm, but the effect was constant shoulder tension and jaw-clenching: I had had shoulder discomfort and headaches for literally years. Whatever the heck happened physically from the massage resulted in observable differences in the chest/underarm tissue (my oncologist commented on the change, in fact), as well as very material reduction in discomfort/headaches.

    Regularly, I see a very science-geek MT, who doesn't believe in the the things you say you don't believe (like myofascial release). While he does believe that massage can benefit people, I think he has a bit of professional-existential angst about not really being certain of all the theoretical reasons. (I'm not saying he presents as having no idea how anything he does actually accomplishes positive effects, BTW, but simply that he has some science-oriented questions about the range of underlying mechanisms, and extreme skepticism about the common explanations.) I do appreciate not having to deal with the "auras & crystals in the room-corners" kind of thinking. (And yes, I've had MTs in the past who had a more . . . mystical? . . . understanding of their practice. It didn't necessarily make what they were doing ineffective for me, but it was mildly annoying nonetheless.)

    Personally, like Psu, as a practical matter, I don't care about the theory, except as an intellectual exercise. I wouldn't oversell massage to someone on a theoretical basis, but finding it beneficial personally, I might suggest someone give it a try if they can afford it.

    ETA: It's nice to see you back, Magnus, after what seemed like a period of non-participation here (though maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places).

    Well said. I will expand, too. I am not suggesting massage or foam rolling as some miracle cure. I am suggesting it has some level of evidence supporting its use and if the individual response to that treatment modality is favorable, then there is no reason to not incorporate it in their routine.
    Seems a tautology. Having good reasons to use a treatment seems the definition of favorable. One of my points - with the cryotheraphy as an example - is that favorable could be deceptive. Feeling it is easing one's pain could appear favorable, but if hypothetically actually degeneratively weakens the muscle, it isn't actually favorable, is it?
    Like I said, there are ethical concerns to even placebos.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.

    I can't give you a cite (read it in a book, but don't remember which), but I read about some results suggesting that placebos can work even among people who know that they're placebos. If that's true (noting I can't prove it ;) ), that would erase the ethical question, wouldn't it?

    Certainly, I think what I believe Psu is also saying: If I try it, and it helps me, and I'm aware that the effect could be pure placebo, I can't think why I'd care. I don't limit myself to enjoying or benefitting from only things I can explain with hard science. (Obviously, the question of how an MT sells him/herself is ethically different from that.)

    Personally, I'm a massage fan. I don't have an opinion about whether it helps me with DOMS, but it does seem to help me manage/avoid certain kinds of physical problems.

    My subjective impression (<= not science!), is that when I have pain or dysfunction, I tend in compensation to tense muscle groups that aren't directly involved, which increases discomfort. Massage seems to draw my attention to those areas, and help to reduce that compensatory tension, thus reduce discomfort. I've also learned methods from MTs (stretches, changes in habitual movement patterns, etc.), that were beneficial.

    I understand that this has nothing to do with DOMS, but in one case, a physical therapist used massage modalities in a way that made a very substantial difference in my day-to-day comfort. This was work on an area where I had/have scar tissue from surgery and radiation therapy. The scar tissue is mainly chest/underarm, but the effect was constant shoulder tension and jaw-clenching: I had had shoulder discomfort and headaches for literally years. Whatever the heck happened physically from the massage resulted in observable differences in the chest/underarm tissue (my oncologist commented on the change, in fact), as well as very material reduction in discomfort/headaches.

    Regularly, I see a very science-geek MT, who doesn't believe in the the things you say you don't believe (like myofascial release). While he does believe that massage can benefit people, I think he has a bit of professional-existential angst about not really being certain of all the theoretical reasons. (I'm not saying he presents as having no idea how anything he does actually accomplishes positive effects, BTW, but simply that he has some science-oriented questions about the range of underlying mechanisms, and extreme skepticism about the common explanations.) I do appreciate not having to deal with the "auras & crystals in the room-corners" kind of thinking. (And yes, I've had MTs in the past who had a more . . . mystical? . . . understanding of their practice. It didn't necessarily make what they were doing ineffective for me, but it was mildly annoying nonetheless.)

    Personally, like Psu, as a practical matter, I don't care about the theory, except as an intellectual exercise. I wouldn't oversell massage to someone on a theoretical basis, but finding it beneficial personally, I might suggest someone give it a try if they can afford it.

    ETA: It's nice to see you back, Magnus, after what seemed like a period of non-participation here (though maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places).

    Placebo absolutely works even if someone is aware of the effect being a thing. Just at the top of the page I put, "or worse, think knowing of its existence somehow is a prophylactic from it - it isn't."

    (snip)

    I'm now wondering if I was unclear, but I'm possibly just misinterpreting the wording of your reply.

    What I was saying was that I had read about cases (I think actual studies) where not only did the subject/patient know that placebo effect was generically a possibility, but actually knew that the "treatment" that they personally were being given had no known science-based effect, i.e., they knew that that very specific treatment was a placebo. They were fully informed. The appearance was that the true-belief aspect was not always essential.

    I wish I remembered the source, and the more I try to explain, the more I'll just make up, I'm sure. IIRC, I think speculative explanations were around the psychological effect of "ritual" (for lack of a better term) or the social-psychological effect of interpersonal interaction with a caring practitioner. It's been a long time, but I don't think I took the time to read the underlying studies, so this is just chit-chat, not argumentation.

    Sorry you've been going through so much! That drain story was a sympathy-cringe, for me. (One of my 3 mastectomy drains had to stay in extra-long like that, and the removal was . . . just a little bit less recreational? . . . as a consequence.)

    I hope you're well on the road to real recovery now, and that the other challenges will begin to sort themselves out, too. Welcome back!
    edited June 10
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,169 Member Member Posts: 1,169 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.

    I can't give you a cite (read it in a book, but don't remember which), but I read about some results suggesting that placebos can work even among people who know that they're placebos. If that's true (noting I can't prove it ;) ), that would erase the ethical question, wouldn't it?

    Certainly, I think what I believe Psu is also saying: If I try it, and it helps me, and I'm aware that the effect could be pure placebo, I can't think why I'd care. I don't limit myself to enjoying or benefitting from only things I can explain with hard science. (Obviously, the question of how an MT sells him/herself is ethically different from that.)

    Personally, I'm a massage fan. I don't have an opinion about whether it helps me with DOMS, but it does seem to help me manage/avoid certain kinds of physical problems.

    My subjective impression (<= not science!), is that when I have pain or dysfunction, I tend in compensation to tense muscle groups that aren't directly involved, which increases discomfort. Massage seems to draw my attention to those areas, and help to reduce that compensatory tension, thus reduce discomfort. I've also learned methods from MTs (stretches, changes in habitual movement patterns, etc.), that were beneficial.

    I understand that this has nothing to do with DOMS, but in one case, a physical therapist used massage modalities in a way that made a very substantial difference in my day-to-day comfort. This was work on an area where I had/have scar tissue from surgery and radiation therapy. The scar tissue is mainly chest/underarm, but the effect was constant shoulder tension and jaw-clenching: I had had shoulder discomfort and headaches for literally years. Whatever the heck happened physically from the massage resulted in observable differences in the chest/underarm tissue (my oncologist commented on the change, in fact), as well as very material reduction in discomfort/headaches.

    Regularly, I see a very science-geek MT, who doesn't believe in the the things you say you don't believe (like myofascial release). While he does believe that massage can benefit people, I think he has a bit of professional-existential angst about not really being certain of all the theoretical reasons. (I'm not saying he presents as having no idea how anything he does actually accomplishes positive effects, BTW, but simply that he has some science-oriented questions about the range of underlying mechanisms, and extreme skepticism about the common explanations.) I do appreciate not having to deal with the "auras & crystals in the room-corners" kind of thinking. (And yes, I've had MTs in the past who had a more . . . mystical? . . . understanding of their practice. It didn't necessarily make what they were doing ineffective for me, but it was mildly annoying nonetheless.)

    Personally, like Psu, as a practical matter, I don't care about the theory, except as an intellectual exercise. I wouldn't oversell massage to someone on a theoretical basis, but finding it beneficial personally, I might suggest someone give it a try if they can afford it.

    ETA: It's nice to see you back, Magnus, after what seemed like a period of non-participation here (though maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places).

    Placebo absolutely works even if someone is aware of the effect being a thing. Just at the top of the page I put, "or worse, think knowing of its existence somehow is a prophylactic from it - it isn't."

    (snip)

    I'm now wondering if I was unclear, but I'm possibly just misinterpreting the wording of your reply.

    What I was saying was that I had read about cases (I think actual studies) where not only did the subject/patient know that placebo effect was generically a possibility, but actually knew that the "treatment" that they personally were being given had no known science-based effect, i.e., they knew that that very specific treatment was a placebo. They were fully informed. The appearance was that the true-belief aspect was not always essential.

    I wish I remembered the source, and the more I try to explain, the more I'll just make up, I'm sure. IIRC, I think speculative explanations were around the psychological effect of "ritual" (for lack of a better term) or the social-psychological effect of interpersonal interaction with a caring practitioner. It's been a long time, but I don't think I took the time to read the underlying studies, so this is just chit-chat, not argumentation.

    Sorry you've been going through so much! That drain story was a sympathy-cringe, for me. (One of my 3 mastectomy drains had to stay in extra-long like that, and the removal was . . . just a little bit less recreational? . . . as a consequence.)

    I hope you're well on the road to real recovery now, and that the other challenges will begin to sort themselves out, too. Welcome back!
    Oh the point of saying it wasn't a prophylactic was just confirming that placebo effect is known to still happen even when a subject is aware they're being placebo-ed. Some of it is, as you suggested, just the effect of social affiliation that comes with a treatment - even animals get placebo effect without understanding they're getting a treatment, it probably works partially on that and sensing owner's expectations.
    The ethics exists for even giving informed placebos. Like I said, at least one aspect is that in giving someone a placebo, you're kind of just doing placating for the convenience of the medical practitioner, rather than resolving the underlying issue for the patient. I sure there's someone with an obsession with whether placebos change how readily you switch tracks on a trolley - a medical ethicist - with a whole doctor's bag of other concerns the issue raises.

    I've heard varying accounts of how painful drain removal is. I had some people advise me to take acetaminophen before the visit for the pain, but I didn't do that first time and didn't see a point in it for any of the other 3 drains. The last two were just a surreal experience. At that point that pandemic had closed down surgeon's office, so I had to go to the hospital, and while I had to have my dad drive me to the hospital because no driving with a drain, he was told he had to go back to the parking garage and wait in the car since he wasn't being seen. At that point it seemed a bit scary just to have someone crossing the other way in the hallways coming and going to the hospital, though it was also oddly very empty.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,356 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,356 MFP Moderator
    psuLemon wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.

    I can't give you a cite (read it in a book, but don't remember which), but I read about some results suggesting that placebos can work even among people who know that they're placebos. If that's true (noting I can't prove it ;) ), that would erase the ethical question, wouldn't it?

    Certainly, I think what I believe Psu is also saying: If I try it, and it helps me, and I'm aware that the effect could be pure placebo, I can't think why I'd care. I don't limit myself to enjoying or benefitting from only things I can explain with hard science. (Obviously, the question of how an MT sells him/herself is ethically different from that.)

    Personally, I'm a massage fan. I don't have an opinion about whether it helps me with DOMS, but it does seem to help me manage/avoid certain kinds of physical problems.

    My subjective impression (<= not science!), is that when I have pain or dysfunction, I tend in compensation to tense muscle groups that aren't directly involved, which increases discomfort. Massage seems to draw my attention to those areas, and help to reduce that compensatory tension, thus reduce discomfort. I've also learned methods from MTs (stretches, changes in habitual movement patterns, etc.), that were beneficial.

    I understand that this has nothing to do with DOMS, but in one case, a physical therapist used massage modalities in a way that made a very substantial difference in my day-to-day comfort. This was work on an area where I had/have scar tissue from surgery and radiation therapy. The scar tissue is mainly chest/underarm, but the effect was constant shoulder tension and jaw-clenching: I had had shoulder discomfort and headaches for literally years. Whatever the heck happened physically from the massage resulted in observable differences in the chest/underarm tissue (my oncologist commented on the change, in fact), as well as very material reduction in discomfort/headaches.

    Regularly, I see a very science-geek MT, who doesn't believe in the the things you say you don't believe (like myofascial release). While he does believe that massage can benefit people, I think he has a bit of professional-existential angst about not really being certain of all the theoretical reasons. (I'm not saying he presents as having no idea how anything he does actually accomplishes positive effects, BTW, but simply that he has some science-oriented questions about the range of underlying mechanisms, and extreme skepticism about the common explanations.) I do appreciate not having to deal with the "auras & crystals in the room-corners" kind of thinking. (And yes, I've had MTs in the past who had a more . . . mystical? . . . understanding of their practice. It didn't necessarily make what they were doing ineffective for me, but it was mildly annoying nonetheless.)

    Personally, like Psu, as a practical matter, I don't care about the theory, except as an intellectual exercise. I wouldn't oversell massage to someone on a theoretical basis, but finding it beneficial personally, I might suggest someone give it a try if they can afford it.

    ETA: It's nice to see you back, Magnus, after what seemed like a period of non-participation here (though maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places).

    Well said. I will expand, too. I am not suggesting massage or foam rolling as some miracle cure. I am suggesting it has some level of evidence supporting its use and if the individual response to that treatment modality is favorable, then there is no reason to not incorporate it in their routine.
    Seems a tautology. Having good reasons to use a treatment seems the definition of favorable. One of my points - with the cryotheraphy as an example - is that favorable could be deceptive. Feeling it is easing one's pain could appear favorable, but if hypothetically actually degeneratively weakens the muscle, it isn't actually favorable, is it?
    Like I said, there are ethical concerns to even placebos.

    I think you are extrapolating too much. There are different uses for each method of recovery and would yield different results; no different than the variety of lifting styles. The evidence on cryotherapy and its potential impacts on hypertrophy is limited but I have seen some. There isn't the same evidence on ma wessage or foam rolling. So again, you keep referring to a single method instead of the focus of the link I provided. If anything, there could be caution against cryotherapy.

    So given that there is evidence for and against foam rolling, and we recognize the difficulty of designing a well designed study, I would highly doubt any ethical issue comes into play. It would be unethical if I told people to consume a ton of ACV to burn fat because there isn't evidence supporting it (outside of some weight loss because people get nauseated). There isn't an ethical issue with recommending a person try foam rolling post workout if they experience DOMS.

    You also would have to take into consideration other factors like diet and their activity level and then prioritize foam rolling based on that data.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I haven't seen the full study but figured this would add to the conversation. Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says. Why? Because there is a huge amount of data on power of placebo. So try it. If it helps, continue, if it doesn't, don't. Anecdotally, while I don't do it often, when i stretch and foam roll, i feel better and less tight. I just don't prioritize it as part of my routine.
    There's actual ethical questions about recommending treatments for a placebo effect. That gets magnified if it something like massage from another person that has an actual cost attached to it.

    There's even more issues with something like the image you attached. Cryotherapy and compression indeed do help recovery. That doesn't mean using them can simply be advised - for example, the cost of cryotherapy is that the improvement in recovery comes at the cost of losing adaption. Using cryotherapy after working out will increase recovery but can actually stop hypertrophy. That's great if you just want to be able to lift weights frequently for the sake of lifting weights, but not so great if you want to get stronger long term, or more muscular.
    Which would tend to go against
    Ultimately, if you feel it helps your recovery, it doesn't really matter what the science says.
    If you ultimately have a purpose to working out beyond working out, it kind of does matter what the science says.

    I can't give you a cite (read it in a book, but don't remember which), but I read about some results suggesting that placebos can work even among people who know that they're placebos. If that's true (noting I can't prove it ;) ), that would erase the ethical question, wouldn't it?

    Certainly, I think what I believe Psu is also saying: If I try it, and it helps me, and I'm aware that the effect could be pure placebo, I can't think why I'd care. I don't limit myself to enjoying or benefitting from only things I can explain with hard science. (Obviously, the question of how an MT sells him/herself is ethically different from that.)

    Personally, I'm a massage fan. I don't have an opinion about whether it helps me with DOMS, but it does seem to help me manage/avoid certain kinds of physical problems.

    My subjective impression (<= not science!), is that when I have pain or dysfunction, I tend in compensation to tense muscle groups that aren't directly involved, which increases discomfort. Massage seems to draw my attention to those areas, and help to reduce that compensatory tension, thus reduce discomfort. I've also learned methods from MTs (stretches, changes in habitual movement patterns, etc.), that were beneficial.

    I understand that this has nothing to do with DOMS, but in one case, a physical therapist used massage modalities in a way that made a very substantial difference in my day-to-day comfort. This was work on an area where I had/have scar tissue from surgery and radiation therapy. The scar tissue is mainly chest/underarm, but the effect was constant shoulder tension and jaw-clenching: I had had shoulder discomfort and headaches for literally years. Whatever the heck happened physically from the massage resulted in observable differences in the chest/underarm tissue (my oncologist commented on the change, in fact), as well as very material reduction in discomfort/headaches.

    Regularly, I see a very science-geek MT, who doesn't believe in the the things you say you don't believe (like myofascial release). While he does believe that massage can benefit people, I think he has a bit of professional-existential angst about not really being certain of all the theoretical reasons. (I'm not saying he presents as having no idea how anything he does actually accomplishes positive effects, BTW, but simply that he has some science-oriented questions about the range of underlying mechanisms, and extreme skepticism about the common explanations.) I do appreciate not having to deal with the "auras & crystals in the room-corners" kind of thinking. (And yes, I've had MTs in the past who had a more . . . mystical? . . . understanding of their practice. It didn't necessarily make what they were doing ineffective for me, but it was mildly annoying nonetheless.)

    Personally, like Psu, as a practical matter, I don't care about the theory, except as an intellectual exercise. I wouldn't oversell massage to someone on a theoretical basis, but finding it beneficial personally, I might suggest someone give it a try if they can afford it.

    ETA: It's nice to see you back, Magnus, after what seemed like a period of non-participation here (though maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places).

    Well said. I will expand, too. I am not suggesting massage or foam rolling as some miracle cure. I am suggesting it has some level of evidence supporting its use and if the individual response to that treatment modality is favorable, then there is no reason to not incorporate it in their routine.
    Seems a tautology. Having good reasons to use a treatment seems the definition of favorable. One of my points - with the cryotheraphy as an example - is that favorable could be deceptive. Feeling it is easing one's pain could appear favorable, but if hypothetically actually degeneratively weakens the muscle, it isn't actually favorable, is it?
    Like I said, there are ethical concerns to even placebos.

    I think you are extrapolating too much. There are different uses for each method of recovery and would yield different results; no different than the variety of lifting styles. The evidence on cryotherapy and its potential impacts on hypertrophy is limited but I have seen some. There isn't the same evidence on ma wessage or foam rolling. So again, you keep referring to a single method instead of the focus of the link I provided. If anything, there could be caution against cryotherapy.

    So given that there is evidence for and against foam rolling, and we recognize the difficulty of designing a well designed study, I would highly doubt any ethical issue comes into play. It would be unethical if I told people to consume a ton of ACV to burn fat because there isn't evidence supporting it (outside of some weight loss because people get nauseated). There isn't an ethical issue with recommending a person try foam rolling post workout if they experience DOMS.

    You also would have to take into consideration other factors like diet and their activity level and then prioritize foam rolling based on that data.

    Agree.

    And maybe I'm missing something, but wrt massage specifically (but probably applies beyond), I don't see the slightest ethical issue from the consumer side (i.e., I don't think I'm unethical for finding it helpful), or even of sharing personal, subjective experience/feelings expressed as such. If practitioners (or others) make unsubstantiated claims - which not all of them do, BTW - it's a whole different matter.

    Maybe there are some, but I don't see any reasonable contraindications to normal, mainstream massage, or to foam rolling. I wouldn't recommend the cold-tub/cryo stuff to anyone, but mostly because I'm too hedonic for that *baby feline* (some of my more elite-y rowing buddies, tough puppies, did it when it was a coaching fad a few years back and hated it with an appropriately icy passion :lol: ).

    If there's a tradeoff between recovery and adaptation, it seems like the right thing would be to make that clear, and let people choose which is their priority at the time. (I get that pros or elite amateurs don't get to make those choices, because orders . . . but being at that level, where coachly orders drive your life, is itself a choice . . . in fortunate countries, at least.)

    But then, I'm one of those annoying situational ethics kind of people. I don't have a big problem if someone here posts "ACV curbed my appetite, so helped me lose weight" (though I'll probably offer a personal counter-experience ;) ). That's different from "ACV blunts appetite" as if it were a universal, let alone "It's been proven that . . . ".

    There's a difference between "X helps me, experientially, as a practical matter" and "X works" (period) or "X works via mechanism Y".

    I thought the OP (all those many pages ago ;) ) was useful and interesting.
  • jm_1234jm_1234 Member Posts: 210 Member Member Posts: 210 Member
    I took a quick read through the comments and didn't see this cited so I wanted to share.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4637917/
    The current literature measuring the effects of SMR is still emerging. The results of this analysis suggests that foam rolling and roller massage may be effective interventions for enhancing joint ROM and pre and post exercise muscle performance. However, due to the heterogeneity of methods among studies, there currently is no consensus on the optimal SMR program.

    Experientially, stretching does some magic that helps my lower back and IT band. When there isn't any magic, my risk of sports related injury is higher.

    I've always heard that cryo/rolling/alternating muscle groups is mainly for blood flushing benefits, if there are benefits.
  • OnedaywriterOnedaywriter Member Posts: 106 Member Member Posts: 106 Member
    Maybe foam rolling doesn’t actually “help” my muscles, but it sure does give a much welcome pain relief when I have DOms!! Especially for my quads.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 5,134 Member Member Posts: 5,134 Member
    Yeah, totally anecdotal. I have very tight muscles, always had. I tried to get more flexible and started various stretching routines, after a good warmup of course - and ended up even more tight and hurting and stiff muscles in the morning. Took a break, and started massaging/rolling/balling my tight muscles and only minor stretching. I'm much more flexible now without pain or morning stiffness. But no, in my experience stretching and massaging doesn't help against doms.
    edited June 19
  • LukesGreenMilkLukesGreenMilk Member Posts: 39 Member Member Posts: 39 Member
    I'm torn on this. (btw I have a Masters in KNES and have coached track & field from high school level to elite college level). I've read the OP's studies suggesting that static state stretching, flexibility, and massage have nothing to do with running performance and don't help DOMS, possibly even hindering. Those were big back in my undergrad days. Saying to do dynamic warmups instead. I subscribed to that for a while, built my training protocols around the dynamic/ballistic warmups, encouraged light stretching after a hard workout. "Don't overdo it gang, too much stretching and flexibility will slow ya down!" Did it in my own training as well. And I still do dynamic warm-ups. And certainly the science is there to show the very important stretch-shortening cycle is negatively impacted by deep stretching before sprinting!

    But as time goes on, I'm just don't understand removing the flexibility work post workout or on cross training days. Keeping everything else equal but introducing some steady-state flexibility work into off-day workouts and post-run routines has ABSOLUTELY seen DOMS and injury reduced. Both in my own training and that of my athletes. Not having done studies on it, I have no research/data to present this. Other than the anecdotal evidence of saying it works well for me and about 120 of my athletes (track & field, sprinting focus).

    Also there's some conflicting info in the OP studies. "Stretching does not prevent sports injuries (Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, March 2005)". But then below that in the graphic, #4 admits that static state stretching after a workout improves joint flexibility. Joint flexibility and injury prevention go together.

    Plus when it comes to sports massage... myself and athletes will have it happen first-hand where we do flexibility tests on hamstrings (90/90 PLSF test). We'll go into the clinic with a low angle, then after a 15 minutes sports massage from trainer, that number will go way up! Regaining full range of motion from a massage would be considered injury prevention in my book!

    When it comes to Usain Bolt and Michael Norman running their 100m and 200m dashes at the Olympics, I can understand trying to walk that fine line between maintaining fast twitch muscle, stretch-shortening cycle response, and injury prevention. Try to keep static state ANYTHING as sparse as possible, and being explosive! But I must acknowledge the difference between genetic monsters like Olympians, vs. collegiate sprinters, vs. people who are just trying to get fit and lose weight. The benefits of flexibility training seem to add to the athlete's longevity and injury prevention, at the cost of a fraction of a percent of training efficiency. For most body types, ages, abilities.

    I think the shift to dynamic warmups is good and sound training. But to de-emphasize or severely limit the flexibility training... I'm just not seeing it. Being able to move at our most full extensions and postures seems to have positive impacts in the athletic arena, even when it comes to injury prevention.
    edited June 30
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