Sports massage includes many therapeutic techniques designed to support athletic performance. This is true both before, during and after training and sport events. It is also a great massage treatment for anyone who exercises for the purpose of increasing flexibility, and preventing injuries and healing muscles or joints after a sports injury. But if it’s relaxation therapy you’re looking for your won’t find it here.
Sports massage is not just ‘one treatment regime’. It is specifically tailored to address different sports and sporting injuries. This kind of massage is not a relaxation massage but is more strenuous and involves treatment that stretches tight muscles, stimulates inactive muscles and improves the condition of the soft tissue.
While relaxation massage reduces stress and tension, Sports Massage takes a different approach to the sam theme. The aim of sports massage is to reduce the stress and tension that builds up in the soft tissues of the body during exercise and complicates injuries and creates performance issues. This form of massage is commonly used to:
Before the massage begins, your therapist will talk to you about your health and lifestyle. They will determine areas that are causing issues for you and will work to a plan for treatment.
As with most massage therapies, your therapist will ask you to lie on a table or couch, with or without clothing depending on your agreed treatment plan. If you are treated without clothing, your therapist will cover you with towels or sheets to protect your privacy and to keep you warm and comfortable. They will probably use creams or oils to help them massage your skin and work in troublesome areas.
Sports massage borrows from bodywork techniques used in other disciplines like osteopathy and physiotherapy.
Treatment techniques might include:
During your treatment you can expect to move around quite a lot and continually talk with your therapist about your bodies response. You may feel some discomfort during a sports massage as your therapist works through areas that are often restricted. Make sure you let your therapist know if their treatment is causing pain during and after your massage sessions.
One of the main reasons athletes seek out sports massage therapy prior to and or following training and events, it to prevent sore muscles ie ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’. It also helps you to exercise more efficiently and prevent some of the common issues and injuries that emerge with exercise.
Sports massage can also improve your body’s overall performance including systemic wellness factors such as heart rate and blood pressure, circulation and lymph flow. These factors in turn will assist with the treatment of injuries, including those more commonly experienced with exercise such as shin splints, tennis elbow, joint sprains and muscle strains.
While sports massage is often a safe treatment following exercise injury, this is not always the case and you must discuss this with your medical practitioner or treating therapist to ensure that sports massage is the optimum treatment for you at the time .