What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a form of massage therapy tailored towards athletes of every kind, from professional athletes to those who simply participate in regular physical activity. The techniques of sports massage focus on targeting parts of the body that have, or will become, stressed or overused. If you are serious about your health and performance, you need to consider a sports massage.
The benefits of sports massage include:
- Promotes flexibility
- Reduces muscle fatigue
- Improves recovery time
- Helps prevent future injuries
- Prepares for performance
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Improves soft tissue function
- Reduces swelling
- Helps alleviate soreness
The Growing Popularity of Sports Massage
As the healthy lifestyle trend continues to grow, the physical strain you put on your body and its lasting effects become increasingly important. Sports massage has become a staple in the professional athlete industry, not just behind the scene but often right on the sidelines of the big game!
A sports massage can be used before a workout, after, or during a period of injury and rehabilitation.
Pre-Activity Sports Massage
A sports massage before a workout or athletic event will focus on stretching your tissue to increase your range of motion. This will reduce the possibility of injury and muscle fatigue while prepping your body for the full range of motion it will soon undergo.
If you’re new to sports massage, never schedule a session close to an event. Much like how you wouldn’t test a pair of new shoes on race day, you don’t want to introduce something new to your body without knowing how it’ll respond.
Post-Activity Sports Massage
After a tough workout or event, a sports massage can go a long way in making sure you can get back out there and achieve greatness. Many athletes use sports massage after training days and events to put their body in a state of recovery sooner.
When you train too hard too frequently, you reach a state of over-training. When you’ve over-trained, your resting heart rate increases, you have less of an appetite, you’re more prone to injury, and you have trouble sleeping. A therapeutic sports massage between training sessions will facilitate your body’s recovery process.
A typical post-activity sports massage will focus on long strokes to the muscles and tissue to flush out the toxins that cause soreness. This will reduce muscle fatigue and speed up your body’s recovery time so you won’t miss another workout.
Rehabilitation Sports Massage
Even the best athletes get injured. A sports massage using soft tissue techniques can be effective when combined with standard care, in improving pain management and control of injured limbs. Furthermore, “trigger point” techniques are used in sports massage therapy to reduce pain and spasm in both the injured and compensating muscles.
Invest in Your Body
Patrick Hicks is Reno’s medical massage therapist and health & wellness coach. Contact him today to schedule your appointment.