What are the benefits of sports massage for everyday life and for sports professionals?

What is sports massage?

Sports Massage is a form of deep tissue mobilisation in the practise of massaging. The practise can be performed in a sports or non sporting environment. This means, you do not have to be a sporting person to receive the massage as a treatment. Sports Massage works to break down adhesions (also known as ‘knots’) and scar tissue, reducing the friction of muscle fibres within an area of the body.

As the Euros 2020 is underway, we can use the sport of Football as an example and need for Sports Massage. The football players all require what is called a ‘pre event’ massage. This is where the therapist would apply fast movements and pressures, particularly to the leg area in the attempt to activate the muscles and gear them up for the game. After the game, the players would then receive a ‘post event’ massage. This is where the therapist would apply slow and deeper techniques to sooth and aid to heal the muscles used in the game.

There are various techniques within Sports Massage, applied depending on the need and requirement of results. These techniques are kneading, effleurage, wringing, hacking and trigger pointing. It is dependent on the desired result, but as said before, if a sports person was preparing for an event, they would require vigorous and fast techniques to be applied to activate the muscles necessary to perform well.

On the other hand, if a non sports person had a reduced range of movement in a joint area or muscle group, the therapist may apply slow, deep techniques to stretch and elongate the muscles to increase their range of movement subsequently reducing pain also.

What are the benefits of Sports Massage?

As mentioned previously, Sports Massage can increase the range of movement in a joint. This is important for sports persons as it promotes a better performance in sport, if applied prior to a sporting event. It also reduces the chances of an injury occurring. If the Sports massage is applied after an event, it can aid the healing process of muscle groups used.

Sports Massage also has many other benefits in terms of neurological and physical effects on the body. For example, it has been proven by scientists to reduce stress, promote quality of sleep and decrease levels of stress. All techniques included in the practise also promote healthier blood circulation, thus increasing the amount of oxygen supplied around the body and furthermore reduces toxins that have gathered. Sports Massage can work to treat injuries too (sports and non sport related) in the form of rehabilitation, therefore aiding healthy recovery and only short term pain and damage.

What is the difference between Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage?

Sports Massage is applied to any person, in order to relieve or elevate pain or promote healthier muscle groups. It is a focused practise of massage that works on one or two isolated areas of the body, as opposed to a generalised holistic massage for the purpose of relaxation. Deep Tissue Massaging is similar to Sports Massage in the application of deep and slow strokes to elongate and stretch the muscles to their leanest form. However, it does not focus on a particular area of the body. Both massaging practises can be applied to a sports or non sporting person in order to relieve pain.

How often should I have a Sports Massage?

Sports Massage can be applied to a person as often as they feel necessary. Although, sports people may choose to have a massage more regularly, particularly if they partake in regular events. It is said a sports person may have a massage as frequently as once a week, however non sport persons would be more likely to have a Sports Massage every few weeks in the form of maintenance to upkeep their wellbeing. If a person partakes in regular personal training sessions, they may choose to have a Sports Massage more frequently also as the massage works well to enhance their performance and prevent injuries from occurring.

 

To check how the England team are performing in the Euros 2021, please click the link here:

 https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england

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