What is sports massage?
Sports massage focuses on the management and rehabilitation of soft tissues within the body e.g. muscles, ligaments and tendons. This type of massage is extremely beneficial for sports men or women who are suffering from injury or fatigued muscles.
A sports massage isn’t just for people who regularly play sports - and it’s not a massage only used to address sporting injuries. It’s a deep and rehabilitating process that manipulates the soft tissue to prevent injury, reduce muscle or tendon pain, and rid the soft tissue of stress.
You’re probably more likely to need one after exercise or injury caused by sport, but we see people for sports massages for all types of reasons from simple injuries, to chronic pain, muscle aches, and restricted range of motion. So sports massage is not just for sports people.
How is a sports massage different from a normal massage?
Sports massage focuses on the management and rehabilitation of soft tissues within the body. This is usually the soft tissues in muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This is why a sports massage is extremely beneficial for sports people as it can help them train more and recover faster.
Many sports actively encourage a massage during training or as part of the training routine
A sports massage is also perfect for those who are suffering from injury or fatigued muscles due to sport or exercise as well as those who’ve simply worked a little too hard, too soon in the garden, lifted too much in an office move, driven for long periods of time, played with the kids at the weekend in an unusual activity, and so on.
Sports massage is typically given for:
Muscle strains and sprains
Torn or ruptured ligaments
How does sports massage work?
Sports massage works deep into the muscles, realigning the muscle fibres and connective tissue, and flushing away the toxins.
The muscles we usually focus on are those ones that we work out when in the gym or during sports and of course those ones that feel sore. It’s estimated that there are over 650 named skeletal muscles in your body!
Sports massage is designed to break down scar tissue (adhesions) in affected muscles, ligaments or tendons. Physically breaking down scar tissue will improve the flow of blood and lymph fluid, enabling the injured muscle to stretch and increase its flexibility. The pressure applied during the massage (both along and across the grain of the muscle) will break down the affected scar tissue causing a reduction in pain and inflammation as well as restoring normal functionality and movement.
This is why a sports massage will be given to a specific area with slow, gradual, and sustained pressure as it takes time (and skill and pressure) to work on these adhesions.
What are the benefits of a sports massage?
Aside from freeing up your movement, helping with chronic pain, and improving your sporting successes and speeding up recovery after injury, there are many more benefits to having a sports massage.
Regular sessions will increase joint mobility and flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury during exercise.
The main benefits of a sports massage are that it can treat, maintain, and prevent the following conditions and syndromes:
Sports related injuries
Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow
Sciatica and related back pain
Repetitive strains and injuries
Not all of those are sports-related, despite the name.
Golfers and Tennis Elbow can affect non-golfers and tennis players quite frequently, for example. Sitting at an uncomfortable desk and typing can cause Repetitive Strain Injuries just as easily as manual labour or exercise.
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