Sports Massage

Sports massage is typically administered to athletes that play and suffer from sports injuries and chronic pain, as well as to warm up the muscles before training or a game. It is a form of a Swedish massage designed to focus in on a specific area that has been injured or is causing the athlete problems. This type of massage stimulates the circulation of blood, breaks down knots, increases range of motion and prevents further injury or strain. Athlete’s bodies are required to be in peak physical condition at all times in order to perform at their very best. A tender knee, sore shoulders, a cramp in the leg, or a pulled hamstring could prevent an athlete from performing at an optimal performance level and could increase the chance of further injury if not properly taken care of.

Sport massages can either be performed on-site or at a spa by a trained sports massage therapist. Spas offer comfortable massage tables (usually stationary) to lie on and massage chairs to sit in that can be adjusted to fit any athlete. Some sports massage therapists also prefer to have portable massage tables so that they can easily carry the table with them to the sporting facility or directly to an athlete’s home. Sports massage therapists must be familiar with all muscles and muscle groups and how they are affected or stressed in each sport.

There are 5 distinct sports massage techniques:

1- Deep Swedish Massage: This massage uses five styles of elongated, flowing strokes (Effleurage- light touch, Petrissage- kneading, Tapotement- rhythmic taping, Friction- compression, Vibration). This massage is extremely beneficial in reducing pain and joint stiffness.

2- Compression Massage: This involves rhythmic compression into the muscles to create a softening effect in the tissues. It is generally used to warm up the muscles before deeper massage work is performed.

3- Cross-Fiber Massage: This massage applies a friction technique to stretch out large muscle groups to reduce adhesions. This helps to create flexible repair during the healing period.

4- Trigger Point or Tender Point Massage: This massage is great for reducing muscle spasms and hypersensitivity. Specific thumb or finger pressure is used to trigger tender points and increase body movement.

5- Lymphatic Massage: This type of massage is used to stimulate lymphatic-drainage pathways, which helps the body to detoxify and break down serious fluid between tissue cells.

Athletes greatly benefit from receiving a sports massage. Here are a few benefits:

  • Reduces the chance of injury: before, during and after the game.
  • Improves range of motion, allowing for more muscle flexibility.
  • Relieves swelling.
  • Reduces the heart rate.
  • Helps to shorten the recovery time between games.
  • Increases blood flow and lymph circulation.
  • Improves muscle relaxation.
  • Helps to detoxify the body.

Excellent sports massage therapists will have the proper massage equipment to help foster the recovery and prevention of sporting injuries or strain. The equipment should be well-padded, have adjustable face cradles and adjustable heights to compliment an athlete’s body and face. Remember, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to experience the benefits of receiving a sports massage. Anyone who is physically active and is experiencing acute pain in a specific area can get a sports massage. Choose a reputable spa or find an experienced sports massage therapist to help relieve your pain and prevent injury.

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