Essential Guide to Sports Massage
Table of Contents
What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage addresses soft tissue injuries resulting from repetitive or strenuous physical activities. Professional athletes to individuals who exercise regularly are great candidates for this type of treatment.
Aside from correcting and preventing injuries, the main objective is to improve recovery time and enhance overall athletic performance.
What are the Types of Sports Massage?
The different types of therapy depend on when the massage is performed, such as:
- Training or maintenance massage – during an athlete’s training sessions days before a game or activity
- Pre-event massage – within the hour before the start of a game, exercise or activity
- Inter-event massage – during breaks in between games or activities
- Post-event massage – part of the cool-down after a game, exercise or activity
- Restorative or rehabilitation massage – during rest days following a game, exercise or activity
What Can I Expect From a Sports Massage?
A sports massage therapist will customize a session based on your individual needs. They will ask you about the sports, exercises, or other strenuous physical activities you regularly engage in.
The main techniques used by sports massage therapists include:
- Effleurage technique – rhythmical stroking motions
- Petrissage technique – kneading motions
- Tapotement technique – rhythmical striking, hacking and cupping motions
Expect to be physically manipulated during the session. The techniques used include stretching, vibration, percussion, compression, friction, and trigger points. Strokes often move towards the heart to improve blood circulation, whereby strokes directed away from the heart are meant to stretch the muscles tissue with care.
For ongoing maintenance, you will receive stretches to be completed at home in between massage sessions.
Does Acupuncture Work With Sports Massage?
Acupuncture treatments can be combined with sports massage to help meet an individual’s corrective goals more effectively.
Acupuncture is a system of integrative medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissue with needles to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions.
Work with your registered massage therapist to discuss how Acupuncture can be incorporated into your regular treatment plan.
Does Sports Massage Hurt?
It’s normal to feel a bit of discomfort as the muscle tissues are being physically manipulated. Be sure to communicate if some of the techniques hurt more than you can handle.
There is a difference between slight discomfort and actual pain that is aggravating your injury. Request for the pressure or techniques used to be adjusted for the appropriate care of sensitive tissue or injured areas.
You may feel sore up to 48 hours after massage therapy and this will steadily improve over time.
What are the Benefits of Sports Massage?
The physical benefits of massage therapy include:
- Aiding in the prevention of further injuries
- Enhancing flexibility and range of motion
- Reducing muscle tension and spasms
- Reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- Relieving joint swelling
- Improving blood circulation
- Decreasing fatigue
- Enhancing endurance
- Improving muscle strength and elasticity
- Breaking down scar tissues
- Boosting an athlete’s chances of recovering from their injuries
- Alleviating chronic pain
The psychological benefits of massage therapy include:
- Boosted sense of wellbeing
- Relaxed nerves
- Better sleep
When Should I Avoid Sports Massage?
Consult with your doctor to determine if this type of treatment is recommended for your individual condition.
A sports massage is not recommended if you:
- Have open wounds or skin infection, fresh bruises, ruptured or torn muscle tissue or tendons, sprains, or fractures
- Have a fever
- Have diabetes
- Have any serious medical condition or illness
- Are pregnant
How Do I Book a Sports Massage Near Me or Sport Massage Near Me?
Think a sports massage is exactly what you need? Visit Massaji’s platform to search our full list of massage therapists and clinic services for immediate results!