An athlete’s best performance is dependent on maintaining peak fitness. Especially, one of the worst fears of an athlete is getting injured. They impair performance and delay training during recovery. Moreover, over time, they take their toll on the body. That’s why for many professional athletes massage therapy is part of their usual routine.
Sports massage was developed for athletes’ prevention and relief of injuries. There’re many physical, physiological, and psychological benefits of sports massage. And nowadays, both athletes and non-athletes can benefit from it. It’s also a very good recovery tool after a tough workout.
The primary reason for sports massage therapy is usually to support the reduction of tension and stress which accumulates in the body’s soft tissues in the course of training. Wherever minor injuries and wounds occur, as a result of over exertion or excessive use, massage can easily break them down rapidly and efficiently. Most importantly, it will also help reduce those little incidents that usually get in the way of overall performance and success, no matter whether you are a sports person, hardcore keep-fitter or a weekly jogger.
Sports massage has some goals in common with other types of massage therapy, in fact it is specifically important to get a thorough knowledge of body structure and physiology, for example the physical and skeletal systems. By being familiar with these systems along with the side effects of exercise, you might likewise appreciate the way massage may possibly benefit the sports men or women and gets to be an inclusive section of the athlete’s training program.
What is sport massage?
Sports massage is targeted on the treatment of the soft tissues. The goal is to aid recuperation from training or personal injury or to warm-up and relax just before exercising or competition. It isn’t a brand new speciality and the methods employed have been enhanced through the years by different physical therapists including physiotherapists, osteopaths and even medical professionals. Even so, these professionals usually do not have the necessary time to treat soft tissue injury and this is actually when a sport massage therapist is advantageous.
What does a session involve?
Therapeutic sports massage techniques incorporate warming-up, relaxation and getting ready for much deeper work. Along with rubbing, compressions, longitudinal and cross-fibre friction as well as tapotement, which is cupping or slapping for stimulation. A specialist could also use some other soft tissue methods such as stretching, myocardial as well as soft-tissue release, which are made to improve flexibility.
Alleviates Muscle Tension
During the massage therapy, the therapist targets tight and tender areas using high levels of force. This helps to increase and enhance blood circulation and this, in turn, alleviates tension in the targeted muscle. The relaxed muscles after the massage may feel an increase in the range of motion and flexibility.
A sports massage done after a tough workout encourages blood and lymph flow throughout the body, which improves recovery. That soreness you get when exercising a muscle for the first time called delayed onset muscle soreness usually begins to develop 12 to 48 hours after the workout. And a sports massage can prevent and bring relief to this delayed onset muscle soreness. According to this study, a massage can decrease delayed soreness by thirty percent.
Increases Range of Motion
It’s quite easy to come back from a workout with a stiff shoulder or joints. And during sports massage, the therapist can target these stiff areas, he can work more on the stiff muscles that are binding up your joints. As a result, you’ll feel more flexible again and will have a greater range of motion.
Stress and Pain Reduction
Athletism doesn’t rely solely on physical health, psychological effects are also important. For example, a more relaxed state encourages focus, which is good to have in any sport. During a sports massage, the body releases neurotransmitters called endorphins, which act as the body’s natural pain reliever. You also get a reduction in cortisol levels, which directly link to stress. So a sports massage helps you relax and at the same time helps to alleviate some psychological stress.
How much can sport massage cost?
You should be prepared to pay from £20 to £50 for an hour-long treatment method. Although a skilled corporate event massage therapist could be more affordable.
Who does sports massage?
You might find a private trainer who provides massage as part of their jobs or a full-time therapy specialist. All need to be skilled, although the differences in exactly what that includes could be very different. Some organisations like the Sports Massage Association established baseline standards for admittance of members. It’s well worth looking into these: proof of accreditation, past experience, insurance for public liability, in addition to professional indemnity coverage.
The benefit of sports massage
There exists great proof for the benefits of sports massage along with its effectiveness in treating injuries.
You can find 3 areas in which sports massage benefits sport people.
The psychological effects and benefits of sports massage
- improved relaxation
- minimal muscle tension
- higher range of movement
- scar tissues improvement
- better recovery by raising blood circulation to the affected spot
- mitochondrial development, which is the power station for muscle
There is evidence on healing including lactate treatment or subsequent functionality benefits.
Physical benefits of sports massage
Greater overall flexibility. Massage expands muscle tissues in a multidirectional fashion, equally longitudinally and side to side. This may also have a comparable impact on the muscular sheath and around ligament, enabling the perfect release of stored pressure and stress.
Increased tissues permeability. Massage therapy leads to the tissue membrane microscopic holes to enlarge, enabling essential fluids and nutrients to go through a lot more easily. This allows waste material like lactic acid solution to be taken out easily and results in a situation whereby oxygen and nutritional requirements are swiftly sent to the target muscles, enabling a rapid recovery.
Improved micro blood flow. Massage boosts the the circulation of blood to the targeted muscle tissues in the same way as exercise. Furthermore, massage therapy also causes vessels of blood to dilate which allows fresh air and nutrition to be transported more conveniently.
Other Benefits Include:
- Improve soft tissue function
- Reduce swelling
- Help athletes monitor muscle tone
- Reduce breathing pattern disorders
- Enhances athletic performance
Both individuals, who are professional athletes and who just participate in exercise programs, can benefit from a sports massage. It will help them improve their conditioning and performance. You can use it as preventative maintenance or target specific areas of the body that need some pain relief.
For best results, it’s better to find a professional therapist, as the massage will then be more targeted. But there’re also alternatives that you can use in the comfort of your home. For runners, a foot massager can be helpful. For a full body massage, you can get a massage chair. Or if you want to target just shoulders and back, a massage cushion could be helpful.