These experimenters had athletes exercise to exhaustion, then biopsied their leg muscle to see how effective massage was in repairing damage.
“Vigorous exercise causes tiny tears in muscle fibers, leading to an immune reaction — inflammation — as the body gets to work repairing the injured cells. So the researchers screened the tissue from the massaged and unmassaged legs to compare their repair processes, and find out what difference massage would make.
They found that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair.”
And using Nsaids and other anti-inflammatory drugs, might retard healing.