Int J Sports Med 2003; 24(6): 395-399
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-41182
Physiology & Biochemistry
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Effects of Massage on Intra Muscular Temperature in the Vastus Lateralis in Humans

B.  Drust1 , G.  Atkinson2 , W.  Gregson3 , D.  French3 , D.  Binningsley3
  • 1Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
  • 2Department of Physical Education, Sports Science and Recreation Management, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
  • 3Middlesbrough Football Club, Rockcliffe Park, Hurworth Place, Darlington, UK
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: October 20, 2002

Publication Date:
07 August 2003 (online)


The aim of the current investigation was to evaluate the effect of different durations of massage, and ultrasound treatment, on the temperature of the vastus lateralis muscle in males. Deep effleurage massage of the vastus lateralis was performed on seven healthy males (mean ± SD; age; 28 ± 4 years, height 1.84 ± 0.05 m, body mass 85.7 ± 12 kg) for 5, 10 and 15 min periods. A 5-min period of ultrasound at 45 KHz was also completed by all subjects. Intra muscular temperature (at 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 cm) and thigh skin temperature were assessed pre and post treatment. Heart rate was monitored continuously throughout all conditions. Pre treatment intra muscular temperature increased as depth of measurement increased (p = 0.00002). Changes in muscle temperature at 1.5 and 2.5 cm were significantly greater following massage than ultrasound (p < 0.002). No significant differences between massage treatments and ultrasound were noted when intra muscular temperature was measured at 3.5 cm (p > 0.05). Massage also significantly increased both heart rate and thigh skin temperature compared to ultrasound (p < 0.005). Increases in intra muscular temperature, heart rate and thigh skin temperature were the same irrespective of massage duration. These data suggest that massage and ultrasound have only limited effects on deep muscle temperature. As a result such approaches may not be suitable as a preparation strategy for exercise.


B. Drust

Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences · Liverpool John Moores University

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