Response Physio | 18.08.21
Sports massages are specialised massages that are designed to improve sports performance or to alleviate the effects of intense training or matches. It is highly recommended for athletes, but even novice trainers can benefit from it.
How can sports massage be used to solve problems and improve performance?
Among all types of massage, sports massage is the most indicated for people who want to have relief from muscle pain or who want to prepare their muscles for a particular sports activity. Sports massages are performed by having a therapist apply pressure to a specific area or muscle that is sore or tight. With different techniques, he relieves muscle stiffness, releasing muscle fibres, and improving muscle function.
As opposed to other types of massage like deep tissue massage, sports massage aims to improve muscle performance and normal function rather than treat a specific pathology, restriction or soft tissue heavy pain. There are also other types of massage like the Swedish or the relaxation massage, whose aim is to relax the body in general. They can be more superficial or deeper and use specific oils or tools. Anyway, they are not too much related to sports activities.
What are the health and benefits of sports massage?
First of all, you can significantly reduce the after-effects of a sports performance by reducing the time of recovery that your body needs. It means that those who have a sports massage after a heavy training session can return to sport quicker and safer than those who don’t have it.
In fact with a sports massage, the therapist can gently stretch muscle fibres to their normal length and function, allowing them to elongate and contract as effectively as before.
Moreover, the massage creates a “pump effect” on muscles using the increase of blood flow. This is very important to reduce the time of recovery because it helps in getting rid of the bad catabolites that are easily expelled out of the body.
In addition to that, having a sports massage means reducing injury risk. Why is that? If you have a sports massage before a sports activity, your muscle is warmed up and ready to perform. The blood flow increases and the layers between muscles and other tissues are ready to slide above each other. This results in an improvement in sports performance and a reduction in injury risk.
Even from a psychological point of view, a sportive who receives a sports massage feels better and more prepared for the performance and this again results in a reduction of risk of injury and the best performance.
How often should you have a sports massage?
Well, professional athletes always have a sports massage before a heavy session or a match and straight after! There are no backlashes in having a sports massage and you can have as much as you can in a different part of the body.
For normal people who love to train, the advice is to have a sports massage whenever they feel tight, after a heavy workout or an intense session of training or before a performance, especially if the weather conditions are not good and it is cold outside.
You can also decide to have a sports massage regularly. In this case, the advice is to have a sports massage at least once a month so that you allow your body to get used to it and never experience heavy tightness or soreness.
In conclusion, we can say that sports massage is a very useful tool for everyone, especially sportspeople. If your goal is not just to relax and chill but you want also to get rid of stiffness, you should definitely try one.
If you’d like more advice or to find a physiotherapist near you please get in touch, Sports massage is available at our clinics in Basildon, Brighton, Dartford, Eastbourne, Epsom, Farnham, Gidea Park, Hampton, Kidbrooke, Kings Hill, Leicester, Nottingham, Sidcup, Southampton, and Worcester
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