It’s a scientifically proven fact that sports massage has a number of benefits for sportspersons. It can be used as a pre-performance therapy, after a match, race or event as well as during training. In fact, it’s also a very important part of a physical rehabilitation program in case a sportsperson suffers an injury.

Athletes of various levels can benefit from a well-planned sports massage treatment plan. It’s an excellent way for an athlete to improve his/her athletic performance. Let’s understand a little more about what it involves and what its effects are.

[separator type=’transparent’ color=” thickness=’1′ up=” down=”]

What is Sports Massage?

It’s essentially a systemic, soft tissue manipulation that largely focuses on the muscle group/s that are relevant to a specific sport. A number of techniques and movements are used in any sports massage therapy, such as:

  • Swedish style massage
  • Compression
  • Effleurage (stroking)
  • Tapotement (rhythmic striking)
  • Petrissage (kneading)
  • Gliding
  • Friction
  • Vibration
  • Stretching
  • Trigger points
  • Percussion

The objective behind using these different techniques and movements is to help the sportsperson’s body achieve optimum physical conditioning and performance; this also goes a long way in decreasing the chances of pain or injury and helps in quicker recovery.

[separator type=’transparent’ color=” thickness=’1′ up=” down=”]

Sports massage – its benefits

Experts in the field have reported a number of physiological (body) and psychological (mind) benefits of sports massage. Some people who opt for sports massage therapy report a little stiffness or tenderness in the muscles for around 1-2 days post the massage. However, for the larger part, there are no major side-effects of sports massage. The range of benefits includes:

  • Increased joint range of motion
  • Increased blood flow & flexibility
  • Improved sense of well being
  • More efficient elimination of lactic acid (exercise waste product)
  • Decreased muscle tension & muscle spasms
  • Decreased chances of injury
  • More relaxed nerves
  • Reduced recovery time between workouts

Most sportspersons that opt for sports massage therapy report they feel less fatigued, and that they also recover much faster after a few sports massage sessions. Many people state that they feel an improvement in moods and a reduction in anxiety levels, which contributes to a greater sense of overall wellbeing.

[separator type=’transparent’ color=” thickness=’1′ up=” down=”]

Other positive effects

Several athletes also feel there is a distinct reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), after an event. It’s a fact that heavily exercised muscles lose their ability to relax; this leads to the tightening of muscles, which can turn into a chronic condition; in turn, this can result in loss of flexibility too. Like a cascading effect, loss of flexibility can be linked to soreness in the muscles, which puts athletes at greater risk of muscle tears and pulls.

Tightening of muscles also leads to ischemia (poor blood flow in the muscles), which can be another cause of pain. Sportspersons who go through regular sports massage therapy find that their bodies are able to combat all these effects in a much better way.

[separator type=’transparent’ color=” thickness=’1′ up=” down=”]

In closing

The way to get the best results from sports massage is:

  • To apply it before & post athletic or any sports event
  • Maintenance sessions should be incorporated in between competitions and meets
  • Pre-event sports massage therapy focuses on effectively warming-up all the major muscles that are to be used; it also improves tissue pliability
  • The massage helps get the sportsperson in a better mental state for the event
  • It helps them be better prepared to reach their optimal sports potential
  • The massage that’s given post the event is aimed at reducing the metabolic build-up and muscle spasms that are part and parcel of any rigorous exercise

For any more information about how sports massage therapy can help you, call New Body Physiotherapy and Postural Management at this number – 02 9958 2277. You can also use this contact us form to connect with us.

Best Regards,
Corey Iskenderian