The benefits of sports massage

Ahead of the launch of the SWEAT movement and sports injury clinic here at SWEAT Southsea, I examined the benefits of sports massage therapy.

Participation in exercise has increased in the wake of Rio 2016 in much the same way it did after London 2012. Whether it’s cycling to work, playing tennis at Canoe Lake Leisure on a warm summer evening, or attending your favourite fitness class, the upsurge in activity is great to see. Behind the scenes, off the track, or away from the velodrome, all of the Olympic athletes share much in common — this includes their daily use of sports massage from the Team GB support team. At London 2012, sports massage accounted for nearly 40% of the treatments utilised by the athletes; second only to physiotherapy. But it’s not only for athletes, and the use of sports massage therapy is a growing trend for people involved in their own personal exercise regimes.

So what is sports massage and how can it benefit you?

Sports massage is a deep tissue massage that will manipulate the muscles, stretch out the fascia, and work remedially to ease tightness and restrictions. The techniques will help ease pain or discomfort, aid recovery, and help restore and maintain optimum muscle function.

Earlier this year — ahead of the Southsea Fitness Festival— I asked James Morris of Up and Running Sports Injury Clinic what advice he would give to anyone engaged in physical activity with regards injury prevention.

James said: “If you are engaged in physical activity then listening to your body is key to injury prevention. Early recognition of injuries, tightness or feelings of fatigue will result in quicker recovery times and reduce the likelihood of re-injury. This will also make you aware of weaknesses that your body may have in training and allow you to address these adequately in your program to strengthen your body further — helping to prevent chronic injuries and symptoms. Listening to your body, taking an optimal amount of rest, and adhering to the advice given to you by professionals will allow you to get the most out of your fitness regime.”

Sports massage therapy can help to relieve everyday aches and pains; you don’t need to be a sportsman to benefit.

Many of us lead sedentary lives or have desk bound jobs. Many of us will wake up, sit down for breakfast; sit down for the commute; sit down for work, and finally sit down to relax in the evening. Even if we add an hour of exercise, we should understand we are adding an hour of stress to the body. The negative implications of our modern day lifestyles for our muscles and postures cannot be overstated.

It may feel uncomfortable

Will it hurt?

It may feel uncomfortable — particularly in tight muscles — but the alternative is to continue suffering. With an active job and my own training regime in mind; I try to book in for fortnightly treatment sessions and any discomfort I feel is offset by the satisfaction I feel that I’m doing something good for my body, and in return it thanks me by helping me avoid injury and discomfort I almost certainly otherwise would feel.

If you want to book in for sports massage therapy here at SWEAT Southsea, drop us an email at enquiries@sweat.fitness