WHAT IS SPORTS MASSAGE:
A Sports massage is a form of bodywork and manipulation of soft tissue (muscle), geared towards preventing or improving sports injuries. A sports therapist requires a broader, more specified knowledge and application to efficiently and safely manipulate the muscles, eliminating risk of further damage to the already fragile tissue. There is a thin line that exists between working the muscle and causing more injury. Sports Massage improves the efficiency of the musculoskeletal system.
It is a technique used to “warm up” muscles and prepare the body for certain sports and movements and maintain it in optimal condition. It allows athletes to recover from workouts and recover from injuries quicker and with less pain.
During a sports massage, all the tissue layers that lay on top of and deeper into the muscle. This type of pressure is efficient enough to release any newly formed or small scar tissue knots and to stretch stiff muscles. Sports massage may include a range of movement of limbs and muscles to help improve stretch and range of motion.
The manipulation increases blood circulation which helps relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and allow for faster recovery.
BENEFITS OF SPORTS MASSAGE
Sports massage has been proven to be effective for:
- releasing and reducing tension in the muscles
- improving circulation
- encouraging the removal of waste products such as lactic acid
- stimulating or suppressing nerve activity
Sports massage can be extremely effective in mentally and physically preparing an athlete for exercise as well as a recovery aid. In fact it can be effective for all stages of the performer’s participation including the preparation, training, competition and recovery stages.
Sports massage is highly beneficial for those athletes who are prone to overuse injuries, as the muscles are allowed to relax and recover fully before the next exercise session. Golfer’s and tennis elbow and frozen shoulder are good examples of this.
WHEN TO AVOID SPORTS MASSAGE:
Sports massage should be avoided if the athlete is suffering from an illness or infection or has been diagnosed with a serious health condition such as cancer or haemophilia. Sports massage is usually not advisable for those who suffer with diabetes.