Here are three “myths” that can’t really be debunked- because no one is really sure if they are myths or not! Check out these “Up for Debate” fitness myths from outsideonline.com
Up for Debate: Massage boosts recovery
In a 2010 study, Canadian researchers had 12 healthy young men squeeze a hand grip until their arm muscles were spent, then had a certified sports-massage therapist give half of them a rubdown. The other half received no such pampering. Surprisingly, the massages did not increase blood flow to the men’s muscles—one of the primary reasons athletes seek bodywork after a strenuous workout. Additionally, researchers concluded that a massage “actually impairs removal of lactic acid from exercised muscle.”
Missing Link: Studies are needed that examine whether post-exercise massage might have other benefits. Most athletes swear they feel better after being kneaded, but so far there’s no evidence at the cellular level to justify the indulgence.
Up for Debate: Surgery is best for an ACL tear
A landmark study on torn ACLs published in 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine led to heated disagreement about the effectiveness of going under the knife. Researchers randomly assigned either surgery or physical therapy to a group of 121 active adults who’d suffered an ACL tear. After two years, the groups’ knees were similar in terms of function and pain, showing that there was little advantage to the surgery.
Missing link: Finding a better way to repair wracked knees. While plenty of athletes have come back from an ACL tear at an extremely high level—surgery and physical therapy can usually restore basic knee stability—many never reach peak performance again. In current ACL surgery, injured tissue is often replaced. But some surgeons are experimenting with reconstructing the ligament with new forms of tissue grafts, which could produce better long-term outcomes.
Up for Debate: Cortisone Shots Speed Healing
Although they can provide immediate pain relief for soft-tissue injuries such as tennis elbow and Achilles tendinopathy, the shots can slow healing over the long term, according to a number of new studies. A comprehensive review of the available research published last year found that people who’d received cortisone shots had a much lower rate of full recovery than those who’d done nothing at all. Plus, they had a 63 percent higher risk of relapse.
Missing link: Trying to figure out exactly what’s going on inside overtaxed tendons and ligaments. In fact, scientists don’t fully understand the mechanics of injuries like tennis elbow and Achilles problems, so they don’t know how best to treat them—except to say that cortisone shots don’t appear to do the trick.