What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a type of deep tissue massage that is beneficial for anyone (sporty or non-sporty) who may be suffering from muscular tension, pain, injury or reduced flexibility. A common misconception is that it is only appropriate for athletes, this is not the case. It can also be very effective for people suffering from day-to-day muscular tension. Sports massage can help to reduce stress, muscular aches and pains, ‘knots’ or adhesions along with recovery time from injury. It increases blood supply, range of motion and aids lymphatic drainage which can help boost the immune system. It also releases endorphins which are excellent for relaxation after a long, busy week.
If you are an athlete, hard training can decrease elasticity within the muscles and cause micro-strains and tissue adhesions where the muscle fibres become misaligned or ‘knotty’. This can affect performance and may be one reason why a tough training programme may not result in fast improvements. Sports massage realigns the muscle fibres, stretches the tissue and reduces tension and waste products that can build up within the muscle and lead to pain.
A sedentary lifestyle can also result in muscular aches and pains. This can be the result of ‘postural fatigue’. Sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time can result in the muscles becoming tired and therefore tight. The continuous muscle contraction used to hold your posture decreases blood supply and in turn reduces the ability to flush out waste products and provide nutrition to the tissue. Sports massage works on the deepest layers of muscle to reduce this tension and improve circulation.
If you have recently suffered from a sporting injury or muscle strain, it is recommended that you wait at a minimum of 5 days before seeking treatment. In this acute stage, take the time to rest, ice and elevate the injured area wherever possible, and use a compression bandage to reduce swelling.