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Qais Gasibat1, Agiela E. Rafieda1, Mohamed Mustafa Aween2

1Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medical Technology, Misrata, Libya
2Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, College of Medical Technology, Misrata, Libya

The Influence of Therapeutic Massage on Muscle Recovery, Physiological, Psychological and Performance in Sport: A Systematic Review

Sport Mont 2024, 22(1), 147-164 | DOI: 10.26773/smj.240220


This study aims to identify the effects of therapeutic massage on muscle recovery, physiological, psychological and performance in sport. Articles were identified from several databases by searching MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PEDro, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, and PubMed starting from 2010 to 2023, related through databases according to predefined inclusion criteria that were identified previously. In the review, 31 studies were considered to be eligible for inclusion by recruiting male (n=558) participants, aged between 12 and 60 years, and females (n=226) participants, aged between 12 and 60 years. Compared with the active control, twelve studies found massage to have a significant and measurable benefit, whereas five studies found no obvious advantage. Comparing massage with an inactive control, four studies reported massage to have a significant and considerable effect, whereas three studies did not. For massage compared with other therapies, three studies reported massage to have a measurable and considerable effect, whereas two studies did not. Massage as a stand-alone treatment provided a considerable and substantial benefit in two studies, whereas one study found no significant impact on muscle healing, performance, physiological, and psychological. In conclusion, the current study revealed that massage had a large and substantial advantage when compared with an inactive and active control, but not when compared with other interventions, as examined in this review. There was a shred of conflicting evidence to prove the superior outcomes of massage when administered as a stand-alone treatment and relative to other forms of therapies. However, the efficiency of massage is rarely assessed.


massage, endurance, musculoskeletal health, confidence, performance, delayed onset muscle soreness

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