Sports massage is a specific type of treatment designed to aid muscular recovery from overuse or acute injury. Through a variety of deep tissue techniques, sports massage can reduce levels of muscle tension brought on by injury or occupational stress.
Sports Massage involves a series of individualised soft tissue treatments to help each athlete achieve his or her personal performance goals by relieving muscle pain and stiffness, speeding up recovery after training sessions or competitions, and increasing energy and stamina.
Stress and overuse can often lead to muscular imbalances which may impede performance and cause discomfort. If ignored, these problems can become chronic and lead to more serious injuries which ultimately may prevent an individual from training or competing at all.
For optimal health and peak performance, a regime of weekly or bi-weekly sessions lasting 60-90 minutes is suggested for the active athlete.
Even if you are not what you would consider to be a professional level athlete, Sports Massage Therapy can be tailored to your level of fitness to help you recover from your sports injury.
Benefits of Sports Massage
- Relieves acute and chronic muscle pain
- Speeds recovery from training sessions
- Increases mental focus and clarity
- Restores range of motion and flexibility
- Increases energy and stamina
- Strengthens resistance to injury
- Enhances athletic performance
- Muscular imbalance and damage in deep tissues can be detected and treated, minimising the risk of injury or further damage
- Neuromuscular Technique
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Muscle Energy Techniques
- Therapist Assisted Stretching
- Myofascial Release Therapy
- Soft Tissue Release
Sports massage is used at events in the form of pre-event (enhancing muscle performance) or post-event (to aid recovery).
Pre-event sports massage is usually given up to 24 hours before an event to improve performance and help prevent injuries. It is used as a supplement to an athlete’s warm-up to enhance circulation and reduce excess muscle tension prior to competition. It is normally a shorter treatment (10-20 minutes) than a regular conditioning massage and focuses on warming up the major muscles to be used. This type of preparation can also ensure that the athlete is in a good mental state for competition.
Inter/ Intra-event Massage
Inter- and intra-event massage is given between events or in time-outs to help athletes recover from the preceding activity and prepare for the activity coming up. It is also short and intense, and focuses on the major muscles stressed in the activity. You might have seen premier league footballers receiving this type of treatment during matches.
Post-event sports massage is given after a competition and is mainly concerned with recovery. It is geared toward reducing the muscle spasms and metabolic build-up that occur with vigorous exercise. Recovery after competition involves not only tissue normalization and repair, but also general relaxation and mental calming.
A recovery session might be 15 minutes to 1/12 hours in length.
Because muscles worked to their limit cramp, tear, bruise and ache, even the most cautious athlete could benefit from rehabilitation massage. Rehabilitation sports massage techniques could include effleurage, neuromuscular therapy, compression, cross-fiber friction, lymphatic drainage and trigger point massage.
Please check out the Contraindications to Massage Treatments.