35 different studies were done in an effort to determine the single most effective way to treat muscle the muscle soreness and decreased muscle function that occurs after rigorous strength training. 4 different types of treatment were compared–cryotherapy (immersion in cold water), massage, stretching and low-intensity exercise. The only one of the 4 therapies to really prove effective for the negative effects of the muscle damage was massage! There was little evidence to support the use of cryotherapy and NO evidence to support the use of stretching or low-intensity exercise. I was a bit surprised by these results which I saw posted in American Fitness Magazine. Don’t get me wrong, after 30 plus years of almost daily exercise, I am a huge buy into massage. It’s always good for everything that ails me (thanks, Mitch) but I also know how good it feels to stretch when my muscles are sore. Perhaps it’s doing nothing for the actual muscle damage, but it sure feels great. I also have to imagine that cryotherapy has it’s benefits, despite what these studies revealed. Thinking the cold has to reduce inflammation and at least make the muscles feel less sore, even if ineffective inrepairing strength. But studies are done for good reason, and this one clearly shows massage is the ticket!