Sports massage therapy plays a very significant role in the life of a sportsperson. The benefits of this sort of massage are not only physical and physiological, but also psychological.

Why Is It Important?

Sports massage uses a variety of techniques, depending on the requirement of the person. The therapy mostly involves a combination of the traditional Swedish massage and Shiatsu. Sports massage therapy includes pre and post event, as well as maintenance techniques. The basic gain from a routine sports massage is the feel good factor. Other advantages include –

  • Reduction in the heart rate as well as blood pressure.
  • Improvement of lymphatic drainage and better blood circulation.
  • Helps reduce muscle tension and relieve pain.
  • Increases muscle flexibility.
  • Increases body stamina and strength leading to better performance.
  • Release of stress in the joints, ligaments, and muscles.
  • Minimizes scar tissue build up.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety as muscles and nerves are relaxed.
  • Eliminates the toxins present in the muscle fibers.
  • Restores mobility to the wounded muscle tissues.
  • Post-training massage increases muscle recovery.
  • Provides general relaxation and comfort.

The fundamental techniques used in a therapeutic massage are quite similar to sports massage therapy, but the strokes in the latter are usually deeper and firmer. There is use of friction style on the deep tissues in sports massage, so as to soften scar tissue and break down any lesions. Moreover, this kind of massage focuses on manipulation of the deep muscle tissues more tightly. This induces greater relaxation as well as triggers the body’s own natural healing system.

Sports Massage Focuses On Three Main Areas

1. Maintenance Massage

The massage therapist will help the sportsperson improve his muscle flexibility as well as his array of motion, depending upon the sport he is into. Goal is to reach an optimum level of performance, through working on specific muscle groups.

2. Post, Pre, And Intra-Event Massage

Pre-event sports massage therapy is administered couple of hours prior to the event and helps improve performance by increasing circulation and decreasing stress. It is mainly short and stimulating in nature.

Post event massage focuses on speedy recovery after the event. This involves relaxation, normalization of muscle tissue along with repair.

Intra-event massage takes place between events to help a sportsperson recover from the exhaustion of the earlier activity, and also prepare him for the forthcoming one. This focuses on the muscle group that gets stressed up during the event.

3. Rehabilitation Massage

How careful one might be, but muscles cramps, bruises, ligament strains and aches are bound to take place. Rehab sports massage helps speed up healing and lessens the discomfort associated with acute injuries.
However, before starting any massage session, it is always advised to check for any type of contraindications, so that the repercussions do not turn harmful.

Side Effects And Warnings

Sports massage therapy is carried out to provide relaxation and soothe the muscles. However, when done vigorously, especially on the deep tissues, it can also be a little uncomfortable and painful. If the person is suffering from muscle soreness, such massage may cause some uneasiness. This kind of therapy should be avoided in case of open wounds, sprained ligaments, tumors, cancer, or any other kind of contraindication.

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