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Stretching and massage don't help muscles

OrphiaOrphia Posts: 6,914Member Member Posts: 6,914Member Member
"Stretching Does Not Prevent or Treat DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

Reviews of the scientific literature show that stretching neither prevents nor treats DOMS (Cochrane Database Syst Rev, July 6, 2011;(7):CD004577; Br J Sports Med. 2011;45:1249-1250).

It did not prevent the muscle damage induced rise in plasma-CK, muscle pain, muscle strength and the PCr/P(I) ratio (Scand J Med Sci Sports, Aug, 1998;8(4):216–21).

Stretching does not:
• prevent sports injuries (Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, March 2005)
• prevent DOMS (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2007, Issue 4)
• lengthen muscles (Clinical Biomechanics, June 2014;29(6):636-642). It only increases pain tolerance so you can stretch further.

Other Unproven Treatments for DOMS
Massage: Some studies show that massage decreases pain, but nobody has shown convincingly that massage hastens muscle recovery or increases contraction strength (J Athl Train, 2005 Jul-Sep; 40(3): 174–180).
Massage did not hasten short or long-term recovery and was less effective for recovery than light exercise (J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, Feb 1997;25(2):107–12).
[...]"
Source:
https://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/making-muscles-stronger.html


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Source:
http://semrc.blogs.latrobe.edu.au/running-myth-2-not-stretching-enough-causes-injury/


Personally, I've found that stretching or manually manipulating muscles makes them hurt (people say it feels like a good pain), however...

After the "good pain" stops, you only feel "better" because:

A. You're just relieved the pain from the stretch/massage is over;
B. You feel nice from the attention you or the masseur has given you;
C. The placebo effect (you'd hate to admit you were kidding yourself any of this helps).


Now let's see who just reads the thread title and only posts a gut reaction based on their belief in myths from articles from fitness companies selling stretching/massage programs/services.
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Replies

  • Keto_VampireKeto_Vampire Posts: 1,692Member Member Posts: 1,692Member Member
    Wait, what, so lat pullovers don't expand one's ribcage/physically alter one's skeletal structure like broscientists/golden era bodybuilders claim? (joking)

    If anything, Isometric holds in the form of stretching generally impede performance if done pre-exercise (try it out, I guarantee all your lifts will go to ****). Besides the one's you mentioned, counter irritant effect seems like a possibility why people feel like stretching relieves pain
    edited April 20
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 808Member Member Posts: 808Member Member
    Wait, what, so lat pullovers don't expand one's ribcage/physically alter one's skeletal structure like broscientists/golden era bodybuilders claim? (joking)

    If anything, Isometric holds in the form of stretching generally impede performance if done pre-exercise. Besides the one's you mentioned, counter irritant effect seems like a possibility why people feel like stretching relieves pain

    Stop reminding me of my ruined dreams. Arnie said if I did my pullovers as a growing boy, I'd have the same 50ish inch chest he did.
    By the time I learned better I was too old to sleep with the ~100+ lb of weights on my chest it would take to even begin to alter bones. Oh well.
  • RunsWithBeesRunsWithBees Posts: 1,108Member Member Posts: 1,108Member 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.
    edited April 21
  • JBanx256JBanx256 Posts: 446Member Member Posts: 446Member Member
    The Influence of Foam Rolling on Recovery from Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage. D’Amico and Gillis. (2017)

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=28902111

    Foam rolling did not improve most measures of recovery compared to a non-foam rolling group in the days following high volume and damaging sprinting exercise.

    -quote from MASS research review
  • JBanx256JBanx256 Posts: 446Member Member Posts: 446Member Member
    An Evidence-Based Approach for Choosing Post-Exercise Recovery Techniques to Reduce Markers of Muscle Damage, Soreness, Fatigue, and Inflammation: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Dupuy et al. (2018)

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.00403/full

  • SeattleBebop1SeattleBebop1 Posts: 26Member Member Posts: 26Member 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.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    JBanx256 wrote: »
    An Evidence-Based Approach for Choosing Post-Exercise Recovery Techniques to Reduce Markers of Muscle Damage, Soreness, Fatigue, and Inflammation: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Dupuy et al. (2018)

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.00403/full

    This makes sense to me RE: Active recovery, especially this bit.
    Active recovery (AR) had a similar effect to CWT on DOMS (but with a larger effect size) with no impact on perceived fatigue. The effect of AR after exhaustive exercise on DOMS has been known for more than 30 years (Armstrong, 1984). However, the impact of AR is only significant during a short period after exercise (Zainuddin et al., 2006).

    I've always stretched because that's what I was taught to do over the years, and while the regimen has had a dramatic impact on keeping my lower back from guarding and giving me general grief, stretching overall never seemed to impact much pre or post workout. I did it though, force of habit.

    A short AR period after workouts, all dynamic stretching, seems to do me a world of good though, so, even if it's strictly a placebo effect, I'll keep doing it.
  • MotorsheenMotorsheen Posts: 14,968Member Member Posts: 14,968Member Member

    [ Isometric holds in the form of stretching generally impede performance if done pre-exercise (try it out, I guarantee all your lifts will go to ****).


    trooth.



    .
    edited April 22
  • mom23mangosmom23mangos Posts: 2,784Member Member Posts: 2,784Member Member
    I do an active warmup going through range of motion in joints before working out. For DOMS, I do light cardio...walking, roller skating, swimming. I do active and passive stretching to obtain full range of motion in my joints. Mobility is pretty important to me. I do active stretching followed by strength sets of the antagonistic muscle to lock in range of motion. I usually do this after working out when my muscles are already warm. I do static passive stretching to hit the connective tissue and usually do that cold.

    If you already have full ROM, mobility work including stretching is not needed. And if you are hypermobile, it probably does more harm than good. For people like me who have to fight for ROM, it helps. It has nothing to do with DOMS or injury prevention however. Well, OK somewhat with injury prevention because if you don't have full ROM, things are likely going to get jacked.
  • mph323mph323 Posts: 3,323Member Member Posts: 3,323Member Member
    I do regular stretching for flexibility, but not for recovery (although I often do my flexibility stretching routine after aerobic exercise because I feel more, well, flexible at that point :) ). My understanding of the results of current studies is that stretching (and foam rolling, icing and other common recovery routines) can be useful between events for those doing multiple efforts in one day (like track runners doing several qualifying heats before the final race), but agree that the current thought is that recovery happens on it's own with adequate rest and nutrition.

    I just finished reading this book: "Good to Go, What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery", by Christie Aschwanden, and interestingly, her conclusiions after a deep dive into actual studies and interviews with various experts tracks right along with the OP.
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,070Member Member Posts: 17,070Member Member
    I wonder how many of these studies use people that actually have issues besides the DOMS - as opposed to people generally without an issue anyway but merely getting it.

    I'll also emphasize in my experience it's not about relieving or shortening DOMS - I'll ditto not seeing a difference there except for AR the next day usually.

    But tendon/ligament issues that will be very worse if no stretching (which isn't DOMS) while warmed up.
    Carefully tested in my case for my experience.

    I wonder if a study on those with plantar fasciitis showing differences in recovery from workouts that effect it, between something done and nothing done.

    I know one study for Achilles tendonitist where doing the negative heel drops did speed up recovery - but that's not a stretching-only effect, merely what occurs at bottom of drop.
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