Sports Massage – Everything You Need To Know

A sports massage has a deep, rejuvenating process that moves the soft tissue around to help lower the risk of injury. Sports massages can be very beneficial not just for athletes and people who go to the gym, but also people who work desk jobs.

Everything you need to know about sports massage:

What is a Sports Massage?
Types of Sports Massage
What Happens During a Sports Massage?
The Benefits of Sports Massage
What Can a Sports Massage Treat?
What to Wear During a Sports Massage
Where You Can Get a Sports Massage

What is a Sports Massage?

A sports massage is designed for physically active people, but they can also be beneficial for people with various injuries (such as back or knee injuries). The style incorporates various practices from other types of massages, including deep tissue massage techniques.

Types of Sports Massage

There are four different types of sports massage that you can choose from. These are;

Pre-Event
A pre-event sports massage is designed to stimulate your muscles. The massage focuses on the muscles that will be used the most during the workout, and the massage is normally given half an hour before exercising.

Post-Event
A post-event workout is designed to relax the muscles and speed up recovery after exercise. Most post-event sports massages happen within two hours of exercising.

Rehabilitative
A rehabilitative sports massage will help to alleviate pain from a previous injury.

Restorative
A restorative sports massage should be received on a regular basis by people who are training for a big sporting event, or people who want to train harder so that they can beat their personal bests. This is because the massage helps enable further training by lowering the chance of injury. It can also help to improve performance.

What Happens During a Sports Massage?

A sports massage focuses on a specific area of the body, such as the leg or the back, so it is very different to a full body massage. If you want to arrange a sports massage it is likely that the practitioner will want to speak to you beforehand so that they can find out more about your goals; for instance, do you want to improve cardio performance, or do you want to alleviate the pain from an old foot injury?

Once the practitioner has found out more about your body and your needs, they will settle on the most appropriate massage techniques. For instance, they may use Swedish massage techniques to help improve circulation of lymph fluids and blood, or trigger point therapy to break down knots in your muscles.

Some sports massage practitioners will also encourage you to try some type of stretching (after or before the massage) to help increase your range of motion. This can be very useful for people who are trying to beat their personal bests, especially if they regularly practise yoga.

Finally, some sports massage therapists will know about hydrotherapy modalities such as thermotherapy and cryotherapy, both of which can help with muscle recovery and the overall healing process.

The Benefits of a Sports Massage

Improved speed of recovery
Are sports massages good for you? Is usually the common question people ask. The answer is yes. One of the main benefits of a sports massage is that it will help to improve your speed of recovery. This is because the movements increase pressure around your muscle, which will create a vacuum behind the massage stroke, helping to move blood through the muscle. This means the muscle will become less tight so that it can repair and heal.

Stretching
A sports massage will stretch tissue within your body, helping to remove tension and improve flexibility.

Increased tissue permeability
A deep sports massage helps the pores in your tissue membranes to open, which makes it easier for nutrients and fluids to move through. This helps to remove lactic acid from your body, whilst helping to promote a healthy oxygen flow.

Break down scar tissue
Scar tissue is very common after an injury or trauma, and a sports massage will break down this tissue to alleviate pain.

Opens micro-circulation
A sports massage will also increase blood flow to your muscle tissue. This is because the massage dilates the blood vessels by stretching them.

What Can a Sports Massage Treat?

A sports massage is a great choice for people who have a specific injury, such as a sore foot from running or a painful knee that flares up when you exercise. They are also ideal for people who are very physically active, as they can reduce the chance of injury when you are working out.

In general sports massages are used to treat soft tissue injuries, such as sprains or strains, while also helping athletes to improve their performance.

What to Wear During A Sports Massage

Many people wonder what to wear for a sports massage therapy session. A massage therapist will need to be able to access the required part of your body, so you should dress accordingly; if they will be working on your elbow you could wear a sleeveless top, and if they are working on your knee you could wear shorts.

Some clients are happy to wear just their underwear, but you don’t need to do this if you don’t feel comfortable. You will also be provided with a towel to help maintain your modesty.

Where You Can Get A Sports Massage

Lots of massage practitioners offer sports massages and finding one in the UK is relatively easy. From sports massages in London, to sports massages in Edinburgh, and Manchester, there are a number of sports massage therapists to be found across different cities. You can find out if there is a practitioner in your city here at Vivastreet.

 

Sources:
https://www.sportstherapyuk.com/images/docs/journal1-801.pdf
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416125434.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953308/
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/treatments-therapies/sports-massage/benefits-effects-of-massage
https://www.sportstherapyuk.com/about-sports-massage/skills-techniques

 

 

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