HEALTH — He said he expects that athletes would notice a difference in having their soreness reduced by this amount.
"I think that for athletes...by reducing soreness then they're able to perform better, but we didn't measure this. But if you are sore your movements are very stiff and it's difficult to perform," he said.
Andersen said he'd like to see future studies track whether warming up the muscles to relieve soreness does indeed impact how well athletes perform.
The study suggests that "maybe (massage or exercise) has some benefit for individuals prior to an activity, even though the benefit may be short-lasting," said Jason Brumitt, of the School of Physical Therapy at Pacific University, who was not involved in the research.
It's not clear how massage or exercise would relieve soreness, but Brumitt said that it's thought that they help to clear out metabolic byproducts associated with tissue damage.
Andersen recommends that people try light exercise to ease their pain. The effect is moderate, and only offers temporary relief, but the benefit of using exercise, Andersen said, is that it doesn't require a trained therapist or travel time.
"If people go out and exercise and get sore they can find some relief in just warming up the muscles," he said.