Sports massage and stretching sessions are designed to help athletes with specific areas of pain or discomfort. The techniques used in sports massage are specific to the athlete’s specific sport, and focus on areas of the body that are overused or stressed from the repetitive motions of their sport.
There are many benefits to sports massage. This type of massage is particularly good and improving flexibility and range of motion by using active and passive stretches to elongate muscles and connective tissues. Sports massage can also help prevent soft tissue injuries during physical activity and reduce post-workout soreness and fatigue.
However, you do not have to be an athlete to benefit from a sports massage. In general, regardless of activity level, a sports massage emphasizes healing of injuries, as well as prevention of future injuries, and can be beneficial to people with injuries, chronic pain, or limited range of motion.
WHAT TO EXPECT
There are several types of sports massage, each with a specific purpose.
The pre-event sports massage is a short, stimulating massage before activity that focuses on the parts of the body that will be most heavily involved in the sport. A post-event sports massage is given within a few hours of the event to normalize the body tissues and release lactic acid from the muscles. A rehabilitative sports massage focuses on alleviating pain due to injury and restoring the body to health.
Regardless of the purpose of the sports massage, the massage therapist will use a variety of massage techniques that are geared at alleviating the specific pain you’re experiencing. This techniques may include Swedish massage to circulation, trigger point therapy to break down adhesions, and stretching to improve flexibility and range of motion. The therapist will generally focus on a specific area of the body, rather than giving a full body massage.
IS SPORTS MASSAGE RIGHT FOR ME?
We recommend sports massage for any athlete, including:
- Tennis players
- Weight lifters
- Sports that include repetitive motions
Sports massage is also a good choice if you have a specific problem area, such as a sore knee or a tight shoulder.