Since the 1960’s researchers have known that the connection between delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and lactic acid is a myth.
Lactic acid is a continual product of carbohydrate metabolism. It holds a position as a temporary product at the end of glycolysis and at the head of the aerobic Krebs cycle. That’s a fancy way of saying that lactic acid is formed when sugar is broken down in your body and it’s produced whenever the body breaks down carbohydrates for energy. The lactic acid actually helps generate energy. Lactic acid is not a toxin. Then why does it get such a bad rap?
Research suggests that massage has both physiological and emotional benefits both before and after the event which help you have stronger, better, faster athletic performance.
Athletes routinely prepare both physically and mentally prior to an event. Typically they incorporate static and dynamic stretching, warm-up drills and mental imagery. A pre-event massage has been suggested as a strategy to decrease pre-competition anxiety and prepare muscles.
If muscle prep is the goal, pre-event sports massage, performed by qualified massage therapists, works well for many. Sports massage is a more vigorous type of massage that includes a combination of techniques such as joint mobilization, stretching, post isometric relaxation, cross-fiber friction and trigger point massage. The goal of the session is to invigorate muscle tissue and stimulate (not relax) muscles to get ready for fast-twitch response, improve flexibility, and increase strength. This massage typically happens within 72 hours of the event.