Sports massage is the technique of kneading and manipulating soft tissue in order to help prevent sports injuries, treat injuries already incurred and improve performance.
As participation in sports becomes more popular at all ages and performances improve from year to year, more is demanded of the athlete. Regular Sports massage is part of the training programme of all top sports people.
The prime purpose of Sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break these down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether one is an athlete, ardent keep-fitter or a once a week jogger.
Anyone can benefit from Sports massage, including people in physically demanding jobs and those not quite so obvious (occupational, emotional and postural stress may produce many similar characteristics to sports injuries).
Sports massage tends to be deeper and more intense than other massage approaches. It is based on the various elements of Swedish massage and often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression and friction, toning and trigger point response techniques similar to Acupressure and Shiatsu. The skilled Therapist brings together this blend of techniques, knowledge and advise during treatment, to work effectively with the patient to bring about optimum performance and to provide injury-free training and minimise post event injuries.
There are three areas when Sports massage is used to benefit athlete:
A regular massage treatment programme concentrating on particular muscle groups can help the athlete maintain or improve range of motion and muscle flexibility.
Pre-event treatment is used as a supplement to an athlete’s warm-up to enhance circulation and reduce excess muscle and mental tension prior to competition. Post-event massage is geared towards reducing the muscle spasms and metabolic build-up that occur with rigorous exercise.
Even with preventative maintenance, muscles cramp, tear, bruise and ache. Sports massage can speed healing and reduce discomfort during the rehabilitation process.