Massage is used extensively in both sport and the wider occupational setting but a huge number of experimental studies reach the conclusion that it has little or no actual benefit. This is because virtually every study is methodologically flawed not for the usually stated reasons of a lack of randomisation or blinding but because of a lack of consensus about what massage actually is, a lack of understanding about what is being tested and on whom, and above all a complete disregard for the dose of application.
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Bob Bramah BSc, MSMA, MSMM, MCSP is a chartered physiotherapist specialising in sports soft tissue therapy. He has worked in Premiership Rugby and Football and with the GB National teams for Basketball, Volleyball and Wheelchair Rugby and the England cricket team.
In addition to a private practice in Wigan, Bob is a lecturer in manual therapy at the University of Salford and is the editor of the Journal Watch section of sportEX.
He was a founder member of the Sports Massage Association and is Vice-chair of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy professional network for massage and Soft Tissue Therapy.
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