Should I Book a Sports Massage?
Yes, you should! If you are serious about your sport, it is likely that you dedicate a lot of time and effort into your training and buying the best equipment. Ask yourself why you wouldn’t also commit to one of the best things you can do for your muscles? After all, they are what make you move. A sports massage is vital to help your muscles, tendons and joints move at their optimal range of motion, therefore will have you performing at your finest.
Sports massage may assist with:
- Reducing muscle stiffness and improving circulation
- Improving relaxation throughout the body
- The removal of waste products such as lactic acid
- Injury prevention and care
- Enhanced athletic performance
- Improved recovery times
What’s Involved in a Sports Massage?
A sports massage uses specific soft tissue techniques that are suited to athletes and everyday sporting people. The massage is tailored to the client, and how it is performed depends on their needs and focuses on the muscle groups that are most frequently used during their sporting activity.
It is usually quite a vigorous style of massage to ensure good muscle response and this also helps to speed up recovery time.
Sports massage takes into account the impact that the sport can have on the person’s body – their joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue. They can be used regularly for maintenance and can also be particularly helpful before or after an event, as well as for injury rehabilitation.
When to Get a Sports Massage
Different people respond to massage in their own way and each person will have certain needs and outcomes they wish to get out of the treatment. If you have the opportunity, try a sports massage during your training program and your therapist will be able to discuss what will work for your situation.
A qualified massage therapist who is experienced in sports massage like the team at Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy will offer a detailed initial appointment to determine your lifestyle, sporting activity and any concerns, and then discuss your options with you. They will also consult with your coach or other sporting support if necessary.
While the majority of sporting athletes tend to only opt for maintenance massages, it is worth considering the benefits of massage before or following a sporting event. Prior to an event, massage stimulates your muscles to have them in good condition to compete, while afterwards, massage works as part of a cool down and helps muscles in the recovery process. Not only can it help prevent injury, but it can boost your performance and give you an edge over your competition.
Benefits of Sports Massage
There are a range of terrific benefits that are associated with the various types of sports massage.
Maintenance Sports Massage
Training or maintenance massage is used to relieve any stresses in muscles before they become an issue. It keeps your body supple and ready to play your chosen game at any time. These massages can help to:
- Maintain relaxed and efficient muscle groups
- Improve muscle endurance
- Ease any muscle tightness
Pre-event Sports Massage
A massage before a sporting event should generally be quite short, under 20 minutes. Performed with a relatively light pressure, the aim is to stimulate the muscular system to:
- Improve circulation
- Stimulate physical awareness
- Provide a level of psychological assistance
Post-event Sports Massage
A recovery massage restores both physical and mental states that are depleted throughout a strenuous activity. The pressure of the massage will be determined by the workload experienced, with the massage pressure being less for a higher workload. The benefits include:
- Being 2-3 times more effective than just rest
- Assisting with lactic acid removal from the body, therefore reducing stiffness, cramps and fatigue
- Promoting optimal resting muscle length and so reducing tension in muscles
Rehabilitation Sports Massage
Injuries are pretty common in sports people and massage is a significant factor in any rehab program. This type of sports massage usually works alongside a sports physiotherapist to ensure the best treatment is provided:
- Improves circulation and helps with the healing process
- Aids removal of fluid and swelling in tissues surrounding the injury
- Remobilises tissues affected by scarring or adhesions
With all these benefits and more, it really is worth incorporating sports massage into your sporting routine. Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy have a team of physios and sport massage therapists who can guide you through your sport training and rehab with confidence. Give them a call or book online to be moving well and pain free as soon as possible.