With athletes constantly pushing themselves to improve performance, they must also be aware of the micro trauma caused to their muscles with intense training i.e. muscle contractions, relaxation creates motion. This can create problems and imbalances of the soft tissues which can lead to muscle tightness, pain and decreased performance, possibly causing injury.
A sports massage by a skilled physiotherapist can detect variations in an athlete’s soft tissue and with correct massage techniques will return the tissue to a much healthier state, thereby decreasing the risk to performance or injury.
It can be carried out before a sporting event in order to increase circulation to a particular area, warming up the muscles and calming nervous tension which prepares the individual for optimal performance whilst also decreasing the chance of injury.
After a sporting event, efflurage can help with the drainage of lactic acid and other waste products in the muscles, which will help to reduce the ‘DOMS’ associated with hard exercise. It can also be very beneficial during the sporting season to ‘freshen up’ the muscles, breaking up ‘knots’ and preventing ‘bad muscle’ tension from developing into a problem/injury.
Sports massage can range from relaxing and soothing effleurage to quick, vigorous and deep which can cause discomfort over tender areas so it is important you discuss timing of massage in relation to sporting events/training so the depth of massage can be appropriate to achieve the maximum benefit. A sports massage should be avoided if you have any open wounds, muscle tears, sprained ligaments or burns, thrombosis, cancer, tumours, melanoma or haemophilia.
This physiotherapy treatment is also unsuitable for anyone with and an infectious skin disease. People with diabetes should be aware sports massage can have the same effect as exercise.
Sports massage is not just for sports people, but can be beneficial to those who suffer muscle tension, strain and discomfort. It assists and encourages the body to heal and recover from many musculoskeletal injuries, pain soreness by improving muscle flexibility, blood circulation and reducing swelling, as well as the prevention of sports injuries.
Sports massage, as provided by The Physio Group, is based on Swedish massage, a technique that uses the application of pressure to manipulate soft tissue and involves the use of gliding strokes, kneading movements, circular pressure of the hand and fingers, vibratory movements, brisk tapping, bending and stretching.
Sports massage aims to improve the suppleness and flexibility of muscles and joints, improve blood circulation, speed up the healing of damaged or stressed muscles, tissues and joints, and prevent future muscle and tendon injuries.
For the athlete, professional or amateur, sports massage can be carried out prior to a sports event, when it will stimulate circulation, calm nervous tension and prepare the individual for optimal performance whilst at the same time reducing the risk of injury. It can be carried out after a sports event, when it will relieve soreness and assist with the removal of lactic acid and other waste products. It is often used during training, when the practitioner will focus on speeding up the healing of existing injuries and preventing the development of future injuries. Although relaxing and soothing, it can also be quite vigorous. If the client has muscle soreness the massage may, initially, cause some discomfort.
For more details on a sports massage at The Physio Group, please call us on 02830269733.