What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is perfect for those who participate in physical activities or perform repetitive movements in their field of work. It is used to help prevent injuries, to prepare the body for athletic activity, maintain it in optimal condition, and to help athletes recover from workouts and injuries. Sports massage has three basic forms: pre-event massage, post-event massage, and maintenance massage.
This type of sports massage is done BEFORE any scheduled event or physical activity. It helps warm up the muscles, and can also include some stretching to help the body perform at peak performance. A pre-event massage stimulates the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles, reduces muscle tension, loosens the muscles, and produces a feeling of psychological readiness. The recommended time for a pre-event sports massage is 30-60 minutes.
Whenever athletes exercise heavily, their muscles suffer microtraumas. Small amounts of swelling occur in the muscle because of tiny tears. Post-event sports massage helps reduce the swelling caused by microtraumas; loosens tired, stiff muscles; helps maintain flexibility; promotes blood flow to the muscle to remove lactic acid and waste build-up, and reduces cramping. In addition, post-event massage helps speed the athlete’s recovery time and alleviates pulls, strains, and soreness. A post-event sports massage typically lasts 60, 90, or 120-minutes.
Maintenance sports massage can be done anywhere from weekly to monthly as a regular part of athletic training programs. Maintenance massage increases the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles. It also keeps the tissues loose so that different layers of muscle slide easily over each other. Maintenance sports massage also helps reduce the development of scar tissue while increasing flexibility and range of motion. Make sure you let your therapist know about any physical activities you participate in and any sore or painful areas. If you’re an active individual, getting maintenance massage on a regular basis is a great way to prevent injuries from happening. Full body maintenance massage is recommended for 90 or 120-minute sessions.
Is Sports Massage Only for Athletes?
Absolutely not. If you perform repetitive movements in your type of work, you can still benefit from a sports massage.
For any questions about sports massage or how massage therapy can benefit you, please give us a call.
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