10 Nov Why You Should Get A Sports Massage
Sports massage is one of the oldest forms of therapy, dating back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans times, when massage was incorporated into exercise programmes.
Today, sports massage is an effective form of treatment for everyone, from endurance athletes to people who sit at a desk all day long.
What To Expect
A sports massage includes the application of a range of deep manipulative massage strokes. Sports massage techniques are applied by thumbs, hands and elbows to attain moderate to deep pressure.
Trigger pointing therapy may be used to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles), and stretching is used to increase the range of motion.
Other techniques include myofascial release, which can be used to target common sports injuries, such as muscular strains and muscle tightness.
The mechanical effects of a sports massage include an increase in the breakdown and realignment of muscle fibres. The application of deep pressure can break up adhesive cross-fibre connections within muscular knots and scar tissue and can allow collagen fibres to realign into a parallel and functional fashion.
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When to Have a Sports Massage
The application of a sports massage can be beneficial in a number of circumstances such as:
Pre-event: massage can be applied just before an event, such as a race, to help warm up muscles, prevent injury and help psychologically “get into the zone”.
Post-event: slow massage strokes can be applied straight after an event, such as a run. This will calm and relax the muscles and assist in the removal of waste products and recovery.
During a training programme: if you are training for a specific event, such as a marathon, sports massage will help ease the tightness and prevent niggles becoming an injury. You may wish to consider booking in every week or so if you are training for an endurance event such as a marathon.
Muscular tightness: muscular tightness can occur for a number of reasons such as physical activity, injury, overuse, occupational demands or psychological stress. If left untreated, muscular tightness can cause chronic pain, limited range of movement and reduced performance.
General maintenance: General maintenance massage can be used to reduce the risk of injury and maintain healthy muscles. The application of massage can reduce muscular tension and maintain flexibility, whether this is caused by sitting at a desk all day or going to the gym. Regular maintenance massages are recommended every 4 weeks, for everyone.
The Benefits of Sports Massage
- Breaks down adhesions (knots)
- Improves muscle elasticity
- Aids the repair of strains and sprains
- Prevents a niggle becoming an injury
- Removes waste products
- Improves drainage of waste products
- Improves general wellbeing
…and sports massage is for everyone, not just elite athletes!
Blog compiled by Lisa Craine, Sports Massage Therapist at Halo Physio