What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a type of massage that is specifically tailored to sporting injuries or ailments. It is not meant to be a relaxing massage and, indeed, can become quite vigorous at times. Contrary to its name, sports massage is not only utilized by professional sportspeople or people that exercise heavily. It is of benefit to anyone that exercises, even if it is only mild exercise such as regular walking.
Sports massage is designed to prevent and relieve injuries and conditions that are associated with exercise. It can often be quite strenuous and is meant to relieve and reduce the stress and tension that can build up within the body’s soft tissues while exercising. It can be carried out before, during, or after playing sport or exercising and uses techniques that are designed to increase endurance and performance, to minimize the chances of injury and, if there is an injury, to reduce the recovery time.
What are the key benefits?
Massage after hard sessions/games can help to facilitate recovery by minimising the effects of fatigue, reducing muscle tension, and lowering stress levels. It increases blood circulation in localised areas and the mechanical warming and stretching of soft tissues provides temporary flexibility gains (Calder 2000). Massage also enhances relaxation and promotes a sense of well being within the athlete.
Sports massage can treat a variety of ailments and injuries that may occur as a result of exercise. It also has other benefits that allow you to train or exercise more efficiently.
- draining away fatigue
- relieving swelling
- reducing muscle tension
- promoting flexibility
- injuries that occur as a result of overexertion or overuse
- relieving pain
- preventing injuries
- improving heart rate and blood pressure
- increasing blood circulation and lymph flow
- treating injuries such as shin splints, tennis elbows, sprains and strains, corked thighs et