Sports massage is a type of massage that treats or prevents an area from sports injuries. This type of massage is also very useful in alleviating pain caused by excessive physical activities. Although sports treatment is known to treat athletes, this form of treatment can provide both psychological and physiological benefits to the non-athletes as well. The techniques used for this treatment includes Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching, soft tissue release, cross fiber techniques, reciprocal inhibition (treatment of muscle cramps), etc.
While some sports players might feel they only require massage therapy for the treatment of injuries, this is completely untrue. Playing sports takes a demanding toll on the body, challenging muscles, joints, tissues and ligaments to go far beyond their ordinary capacity. That is one reason why sports athletes should be admired and are honoured at special events such as the Olympics—what they achieve is phenomenal.
In order to maintain an athlete’s well-being and state of training, massage therapy for sports actually comes in four stages:
Receiving massage therapy before going out on the field, court, track, etc., helps to aid in mental preparation and focus/visualization, relaxation and the reduction of stress and anxiety, boosts confidence levels and generates an overall sense of well-being. As often as possible, pre-event sports massage should be conducted within 30-60 minutes before the athlete is set to perform.
An inter-event massage lasts between 2-15 minutes, and is performed during “cool down” and rest periods of the game. Not only does this aid the athlete in maintaining warm muscles and flexibility, but it helps to reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), a common problem throughout sporting events, and increase range of motion.
Post-event massage reduces inflammation, eases DOMS, identifies injury sites (or weakened areas with the potential for later injuries) and aids the athlete in recovery from the stresses of the day.
Restorative (or Training) massage is also vital to helping the athlete prevent or treat minor training injuries, ease tension and tenderness, and creating a sense of “peace” in the midst of a hectic lifestyle.
Tissue elasticity and permeability, the breakdown of scar tissues, improved blood circulation and oxygen flow, and stretching of sore muscles and fascia are just some of the benefits of sports massage. Other issues, such as sprains, strains, adhesions and tendonitis, are also eased and healed by massage.
Again, there is more to these treatments than mere physical comfort; the psychological benefits are enormous as well. Not only is sports massage at once relaxing and invigorating, but it increases serotonin and dopamine levels while decreasing cortisol, offering athletes the opportunity to go into their events with greater mental clarity.
Regular massages before, during, after, and in-between sporting events also offer another perspective: on your performance. Through your body’s natural reactions to the type of activities you are performing on a regular basis, your massage therapist can help you access your ability to cope with certain stresses, weak spots, strengths, potential injury sites, and areas of improvement. This “feedback” from your body can help you to understand yourself in ways you never imagined, and become a better, fitter athlete and player overall.
If you are interested in undergoing regular massage therapy and treatment for sports performance and injuries, give us a call. Our therapists at Unique Health & Wellness, Inc. are among the best in Edmonton, and we are here to serve you. If would like to book a sports treatment or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 780-938-8623 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here for you!