On November 1, 2015, several sweaty, joyful, exhausted runners trickled through our doors after crossing the finish line of the TCS NYC Marathon. Sore and victorious, they told their heroic tales of their mornings that had begun before sunrise on Staten Island and involved self-transformation through the boroughs of New York City, all the way to the finish in Central Park.

Here at Custom Performance, we embraced each warrior with open arms… and massage and pneumatic compression boots! Why? Because they aide in recovery and feel great! But the question remains, what evidence exists for such treatments?

A study in the JOSPT examined how long the effects of these modalities last in recovery from a distance running event. They concluded that a single 20-minute session of massage and intermittent sequential pneumatic compression immediately after completion of at 161-km ultramarathon provided some immediate benefit. However, it is yet to be seen how the effects are beneficial 7 days post-race. Take home: Massage and pneumatic compression boots are effective immediate recovery tools, decreasing pain related to running.

Long term effects still need further investigation. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2016 Mar 23:1-26. [Epub ahead of print] A Randomized Controlled Trial of Massage and Pneumatic Compression for Ultramarathon Recovery. Hoffman MD, Badowski N, Chin J, Stuempfle KJ

 

Wendy Winn, PT, OCS