The Impact of the Swedish Massage on the Kinesthetic Differentiation in Healthy Individuals
Background: Swedish massage is one of the common treatments to provide optimal start and readiness of athletes. The ability of kinesthetic differentiation (KD) is crucial in sport performance. This skill allows to adapt demanded muscle forces to optimize the motor tasks, and it is responsible for the precision. In the literature, there is no evidence how Swedish massage influences the kinesthetic differentiation.
Purpose: The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of Swedish massage on the kinesthetic differentiation and muscle strength of hand grip.
Methods: Thirty participants took part in this investigation (17 women and 13 men). The assessment consisted of KD tests conducted on the dominant (DH) and nondominant hand (NDH) after 15 minutes of hand and forearm Swedish massage. The procedure consisted of 13 trials for each extremity. The first three were done for 100% of the participants’ capabilities (Fmax), the next five trials were done using 50% of maximum force (50% of Fmax), and in the last five trials, the participants tried to use only 50% of their previous force (1/2 of 50%). Finally, the absolute force production error (FPE) was calculated for 50% (FPE_50%) and 25% (FPE_25%).
Results: The two-way repeated measure analysis of variance ANOVA did not reveal any statistically significant changes in maximal strength grip and KD between pre- and postmassage intervention in both DH and NDH hand. Correlations showed strong relationship between pre- and postmassage for maximum force (r = 0.92, p = .01 for DH, and r = 0.94, p = .01 for NDH), and only for the FPE_50% (r = 0.67, p = .01 for DH, and r = 0.71, p = .01 for NDH).
Conclusions: The results obtained indicated that the application of the Swedish massage did not affect the kinesthetic differentiation in this particular young adult group.