Yes, it feels good, and yes, it can be pricey, but massage also does some important muscle reclamation work after a particularly tough workout. Researchers at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario conducted genetic analysis of muscle biopsies taken from the quadriceps of eleven young men after they had exercised to exhaustion on a stationary bicycle. A McMaster news release reports on the research, for which one of their legs was randomly chosen to be massaged, and researchers took biopsies from both legs prior to the exercise, immediately after 10 minutes of massage treatment and after a 2.5 hour period of recovery. The tests showed that massage dampened the expression of inflammatory cytokines in the muscle cells and promoted biogenesis energy producing mitochondria. The researchers suspect the pain relief from massage may work in ways similar to conventional anti-inflammatory drugs, but of course, without the drugs. Read more from McMaster University. More on massage and lower back pain.