International Journal of Applied Science and Engineering
Published by Chaoyang University of Technology

Peng-Cheng Sung, Yung-Ping Liu

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Chaoyang University of Technology 168, Jifeng E. Rd., Wufeng District, Taichung City 413310, Taiwan


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Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) in massage practitioners is prevalent due to physically demanding nature of massage practice. Given that changes in massage techniques may occur over the course of a day to accommodate for fatigued muscles and the use of proper techniques may also be compromised with fatigue to the musculature of the upper extremity, research regarded the effects of different massage techniques on muscular demands needed to be further explored. In this study, nine male participants performed four Swedish-type massage techniques including effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, and friction on a same client. The muscular demands for different techniques were assessed with surface EMG positioned over four forearm muscles of dominant arm including flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor carpi radialis, extensor carpi radialis longus, and extensor digitorum. Perceived exertions were also collected for different techniques using Borg CR 10 scale. The results indicated that there are significant differences among forearm muscle and massage technique on muscular demands. Similar massage technique effects on perceived exertions were also observed in current study. In addition, there is statistically significant interaction effect between forearm muscle and massage technique on muscular demands. To reduce muscular load which is a potential risk factor associated with the development of WRMSDs based on the results of this study, the time to perform friction and tapotement techniques during a massage session could be extended to prevent overexertion of muscular demands required for the petrissage and effleurage techniques.

Keywords: Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSDs), Swedish-type massage, Massage technique, Muscular demand, Perceived exertion.

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Received: 2021-11-28
Revised: 2022-01-24
Accepted: 2022-01-25
Available Online: 2022-03-01

Cite this article:

Sung, P.-C. , Yung-Ping Liu. 2022. Assessments of forearm muscular demands and perceived exertions for different massage techniques of the Swedish-type massage. International Journal of Applied Science and Engineering, 19, 2021522.

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