While the name sports massage may imply that this is intended for athletes, this form of therapy may actually be beneficial to anyone who has sustained an injury, experiencing chronic pain, and who may have a range of motion that is restricted. This massage therapy got its name since this was originally developed for athletes in order to prepare their bodies for maximum performance or to recover after a game or training.
Sports massage has been shown to be very effective in rehabilitating athletes and the prevention of injuries to the muscle and tendons. The benefit of sports massage has been well-established based on the testimonies of numerous athletes from different fields of sports. In fact, sports massage has become a very important component in sport activities that sports massage therapists have become vital personnel in any professional sports organization.
What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage may be defined as a massage technique that gives emphasis on the treatment of soft tissue aches and soreness, pain, and injuries associated with physical activities such as sporting events. This is also intended to prepare an individual for any physical activity by reducing muscle stiffness, providing relaxation, and reducing heart rate and blood pressure.
Basically, the strokes applied in sport massage may be similar to that of Swedish massage but only differs on the strokes and pressure applied to the affected areas. With extra pressure and focus on a certain body part, knots in the muscles or what are called adhesions may be broken down. This is believed to stimulate circulation of blood and lymph fluids resulting to the easing of muscle pain and soreness, improving flexibility, and increasing range of motion.
Types of Sports Massages
Although the different types of sports massage therapies have been designed for athletes, these four types can also be applied for those considered as weekend athletes or anyone who may be engaging in a rigorous physical activity. A pre-event sports massage, which is given 15 to 45 minutes before the actual event, is intended to condition the body parts that will be involved in activity. A post-event sports massage is given an hour or more after the event in order to normalize the body’s muscles and tissues.
Restorative sports massage is another type which is given when the athlete is in training in order for said athlete to perform optimally and with less chance of injuries. When an athlete gets injured during a game or even while still in training, a rehabilitative sports massage becomes very important. The objective here is to ease the pain associated with the injury and regain the body to optimum health and function.
Benefits of Sport Massage May Extend to Anyone
Today, sports massage is not limited to athletes. Anyone who has sustained an injury or is experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain can also benefit from sport massage. The important thing here is to find a therapist that is fully qualified to do sports massage otherwise it will just be an ordinary massage therapy.