Recovery is one of the biggest part of a sports person training schedule. Players/Athletes will use a range of things and methods. Ranging from foam rollers and ice packs to acupuncture to ice baths, all can help recovery. Increasing popular within todays professional ranks are regular sports massage.
So what is sports massage?
Its not a new invention or new technique. Sports massage has been around for 20 or so years, growing in popularity since the early 2000’s. Sportspersons are a lot more visible than ever before, with the ever increasing social media presence and in-truth money within sport.
The general public is more interested in how sports individuals perform and their daily fitness training and regimes. Often following them on social media platforms, googling and of course reading old fashioned newspaper articles!
Sports massage is a treatment modality used for a number of reasons, being especially tailored and effective in aiding athletes recover. Helping to improving mobility, flush out waste products and aiding the prevention of injury. This of course makes the treatment very appealing and a perfect tool within professional sports to help recovery and maintain a consistence performance.
How will it affect me?
Many sports today have increased demand for functional movements at different levels of intensity and variety. Sport has become ‘more professional’ and thus more analysed than ever before. This has increased physical demands and performance levels.
When your body becomes injured or tied, you become less effective and movement’s compromised and will natural compensate for that injured area. This lowers your ability to perform and carry out movements to your optimum potential.
To maintain optimum performance, you must be able to recover quickly and efficiently after any competition or any training session. If you can’t recover safely and efficiently, then your performance may be effected as fatigue can set in, and you will eventually feel the effects of overtraining. Aches and pains more frequently!
Sports massage can benefit individuals in a number of ways listed below:
- Promote positive scar formation following acute trauma
- Promote 02 rich blood flow
- Stimulate the Lympathatic system
- Reduce excessive adhesion and scar formation following chronic trauma
- Reduce excessive fascial thickening and feelings of heaviness
- Reduce spasm secondary to pain
- Stretch fasica and promote mobility of specific muscle groups.
- Decrease neuronal excitability
By reducing muscular tension and adhesions will allow an improvement within your range of motion, enabling you to perform specific movements more efficently. A sports massage will also dilate and widen your blood vessels allowing a larger level of blood flow of oxygen rich blood. This improvement in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body help feed your muscles allowing them to work harder and also while removing waste products and toxins at a quicker rate, again allowing the body to work without feeling the effects of fatigue for longer.
How can it help me post workout?
Sports massage can improve and aid the process of recovery for athletes and all of us in truth! — especially as you look or have changed your program, increased/added weight or tried something new, shocking your body.
Sports massage techniques such as trigger point therapy, Soft tissue release and myofascial release will help reduce and release muscular adhesions and knots, ensuring your muscles return to their optimum state, quicker. Allowing pain free movement and better functioning.
Sports massage can also help relieve an individual’s pain and help promote the growth of new muscle cells. A sports massage will help to improve muscle function in some of the following ways.
- Reduce excessive post-exercise muscle tone
- Increase muscle range of motion, making movements easier
- Increase circulation and nutrition to damaged tissue, to help promote recovery.
- Deactivate symptomatic trigger points, returning muscles to optimum state.
Sports massage can also give many psychological benefits, such as helping and individuals with relaxation and stress reduction. Reduction in pain and improved feeling of body awareness. After treatment and individuals levels of concentration and application may also be aided.