What is a Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person engaged in regular physical activity (Paine, 2007). What is soft tissue? This is connective tissue in our bodies such a muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin and fascia (a form of connective tissue that lines the other soft tissue areas).
Sports massage is designed to help athletes to recover from injuries or excess of training, as well as helping them to prepare for events and work at their peak during training. However, sports massage can also be extremely effective for non-sportspeople, especially if they are suffering with pain, discomfort or tightness. A treatment session can be beneficial before, during or after a sporting event.
There are a number of benefits from regular sports massage sessions. It can help to:
- Release muscle tension and pain
- Remove waste products accumulated during exercise, such as Lactate and Carbon Dioxide
- Reduce the discomfort of muscle soreness or DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after training or a sporting event
- Improve posture and flexibility
How will you be treated when you have a Sports Massage?
Your therapist will take a detailed case history of any problem areas, and assess your muscles by looking at the tone and flexibility in the areas that are of concern. You will be asked to remove some clothes so that the therapist can work on the specific area. Then, you will be asked to make yourself comfortable on the sports massage treatment couch. Your massage therapist will use an oil to help keep the massage comfortable. They will work on specific areas to break down muscular knots/adhesions and increase flexibility of movement.
What can you do to help yourself?
It is important that you always warm up before exercising/training, or before an event. Your muscles need to be prepared! Ensure you are eating a balanced diet and it is imperative that you stay hydrated, particularly in times of training or competing.
Please remember, if you need any further advice then you can email us.
1. Paine, T. (2007). The Complete Guide to Sports Massage. (2nd ed). A & C Black.
1.Livestrong.com, http://www.livestrong.com/article/485089-sports-massage-stretching-techniques/ [accessed 30 September 2012].
2.All About Natural Treatment, http://www.natural-treatment-guide.com/massage/sports-massage-interesting-facts.html [accessed 30 September 2012].
A printable version can be found here