A Standardized, Evidence-Based Massage Therapy Program for Decentralized Elite Paracyclists: Creating the Model

  • Ann Blair Kennedy LMT, DrPH(c) University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health
  • Jennifer L. Trilk PhD University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
Keywords: massage, athletics, disability, evidence-based, quality of life

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Evidence suggests that para-athletes are injured more often than able-bodied athletes. The benefits of massage therapy for these disabled athletes are yet to be explored. This paper documents the process followed for creating a massage program for elite paracycling athletes with the goal to assess effects on recovery, rest, performance, and quality of life both on and off the bike.

Setting: Massage therapists’ private practices throughout the United States.

Participants: A United States paracycling team consisting of 9 elite athletes: 2 spinal cord injury, 2 lower limb amputation, 1 upper limb amputation, 1 transverse myelitis, 1 stroke, 1 traumatic brain injury, and 1 visually impaired.

Design: The process used to develop a massage therapy program for paracyclists included meetings with athletes, coaching staff, team exercise physiologist, and sports massage therapists; peerreviewed literature was also consulted to address specific health conditions of para-athletes.

Results: Team leadership and athletes identified needs for quicker recovery, better rest, and improved performance in elite paracyclists. This information was used to generate a conceptual model for massage protocols, and led to creation of the intake and exit questionnaires to assess patient health status and recovery. Forms also were created for a general health intake, therapist information, and a therapist’s SOAAP notes.

Discussion: The conceptual model and questionnaires developed herein will help to operationalize an exploratory study investigating the feasibility of implementing a standardized massage therapy program for a decentralized elite paracycling team.

Author Biographies

Ann Blair Kennedy LMT, DrPH(c), University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health

Graduate Student, DrPH(c)

Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior

Jennifer L. Trilk PhD, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

Clinical Assistant Professor, Physiology and Exercise Science

Published
2015-06-10
How to Cite
Kennedy LMT, DrPH(c), A. B., & Trilk PhD, J. L. (2015). A Standardized, Evidence-Based Massage Therapy Program for Decentralized Elite Paracyclists: Creating the Model. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice, 8(3), 3-9. https://doi.org/10.3822/ijtmb.v8i3.269
Section
Research