Sports Massage Therapy

Sports Massage Therapy

Pre, post-event, or maintenance, these techniques are used on athletes in order to relieve tension and improve muscular function. Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, you will notice a difference in your performance with regular bodywork.

Sports massage can be used to help prevent injuries, to prepare the body for athletic activity and maintain it in optimal condition, and to help athletes recover from workouts and injuries. Sports massage has three basic forms: pre-event massage, post-event massage, and maintenance massage.

Pre Event which is performed on the day of the physical event or activity. This massage warms muscles up to prepare them for the upcoming event. This type of massage is usually 10 to 15 minutes in length and stimulates the muscles. A sports massage therapist will work to warm up the tissue and also increase blood flow to muscles while gently stretching them, targeting the muscles the athlete will use during the competition. A pre-event massage will include the following sports massage techniques: compression to increase blood flow, gentle stretching to warm muscles up, tapotement for muscle stimulation, and friction to warm up superficial tissue.

Post-Event Massage is completed by sports massage therapists immediately after physical activity or competition. This helps to improve recovery time, reduce lactic acid buildup and decrease muscle tension and soreness by increasing blood flow to muscles. This is typically done for about 10 to 15 minutes. A post-event massage will include the following sports massage techniques: compressive effleurage to calm the nervous system, petrissage to ease muscle tension, compression to increase blood flow and spread muscle fibers, broadening strokes to lengthen muscles that are tight, and stretching to help restore range of motion.

Training/Maintenance Sports Massage is performed in between training sessions to help improve recovery time and reduce risk of injury. These massages are performed as a regular part of an athlete’s training routine to increase blood flow and nutrients to muscles while also improving range of motion and flexibility.

Some of the reported benefits of sports massage include:

  • Increased joint range of motion (ROM)
  • Increased flexibility.
  • Increased sense of well-being.
  • Decreased muscle tension.
  • Decreased neurological excitability (nerves more relaxed)
  • Decreased muscle spasms.
  • Better sleep.
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