Objective: With the emergence of different forms of rehabilitation modalities, few studies exist comparing their effect on the body in terms of recovery and performance. This review aims to summarize the effect five different forms of rehabilitation modalities: sleep, nutrition, electrical stimulation, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, and therapeutic cupping has on recovery and performance for athletes or recreationally active individuals. The knowledge of interventions and their effect is beneficial to the sports medicine team, athletes, and coaches.

Method: Eastern Kentucky University databases were searched from 1980 to August 1st, 2020. Through literary research, different studies were retrieved and screened, of which a select few relevant studies were reviewed. Once articles were collected, parameters representing performance tasks and sport skills were recorded. For each parameter, the pre- and post- measurements and the standard deviation were recorded to find the Cohens D. Once this was completed for all modalities, the averages were used to compare each modality's effect on performance and recovery.

Results: 98 studies were reviewed from different world regions, reporting effects of different populations of athletes and recreationally active individuals. In order of effect size, Nutrition has a Cohens D of .88 (+/- .62), Sleep has a Cohens D of .676 (+/- .517), Electrical Stimulation has a Cohens D of .622 (+/- .43), Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization has a Cohens D of .438 (+/- .346), and Cupping has a Cohens D of .32 (+/- .249).

Conclusion: Nutrition and sleep have large effect sizes, while Electrical Stimulation has a Medium effect size. Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization and Cupping both have small effect sizes. Therefore, in terms of rehabilitation, it is recommended that athletes and recreationally active individuals focus on their nutrition and sleep-wake cycle in order to maximize their performance outcomes.

Disclaimer: The Cohens D compares a variety of different factors of performance. It is not a direct comparison of the same outcomes on performance. Most forms of modalities are costly besides sleep, making it more difficult for athletes to utilize them. Practice and travel schedules hinder an athletes ability to maximize habitual nightly sleep time. Even though carbohydrate and carbohydrate plus protein supplementation were a main focus of research, other macronutrients and micronutrients are still vital for overall health and performance. Other modalities such as IASTM and ESTIM are relatively new resulting in a lack of research.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 11-28-2020


Michael T. Lane

Mentor Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Exercise and Sport Science