In this blog post, I'm going to talk about the benefits of Sports Massage and the key times you should look to have a Sports Massage, as well as the importance of regular 'maintenance' treatments as an injury prevention method.
First things first... what is a Sports Massage?
Sports Massage is a form of massage that is used by both athletes and non-athletes. Itincorporates a variety of techniques which change or manipulate soft tissue in the human body. Soft tissue includes muscle, tendons and ligaments and these can all be manipulated using sports massage.
The purposes of Sports Massage.
The primary use of sports massage is to correct issues and imbalances within soft tissue which typically occur from repetitive activity or sport or from direct trauma or impact.
When might I need a Sports Massage?
There are 4 key reasons you need a Sports Massage.
1) Pre Event: Sports Massage is typically used before a big sporting event such as the upcoming Great South Run or before a match day. The purpose of a pre-event massage is to stimulate the muscles before physical activity. Using a variety of techniques, it will increase blood flow to the muscles, increase range of motion of joints and increase flexibility which can all help to enhance sporting performance.
2) Post Event: Sports Massage is routinely utilised after a sporting event with the aim of restoring normal bodily functions. Using Sports Massage after an event will help to restore flexibility and range of motion as well as removing lactic acid from the muscles by increasing blood flow to the muscles. Post-event Sports Massage is generally used to speed up recovery from physical activity.
3) Rehabilitation: Sports Massage can be used as a part of a rehabilitation program to assist in recovering from an injury. Using a variety of techniques, massage can help recovery from injuries such as tendinopathy's and ligament/muscle strains, sprains and tears. Sports massage can be used to help remove and reduce swelling to an injured area, remove adhesions, commonly referred to as knots, and realign muscle and ligament fibres which can all aid in quickening recovery from injury.
4) Prevention: Prevention over cure! Sports Massage can be a great tool in the prevention of injuries, aches and pains. If your hamstrings have been feeling tight, a Sports Massage could release any tension within the muscle which would contribute to reducing the chances of a hamstring injury. In summary, preventative Sports Massage addresses any tightness or niggles before they develop into more serious problems or injuries.