WHAT IS A SPORTS MASSAGE?
Sports massage therapy is geared toward athletes of every kind, from world-class professionals to weekend joggers. A focus is placed on areas of the body that are overused and stressed from repetitive and often aggressive movements. Aspects of sports massage therapy are gaining popularity as useful components in a balanced training regimen. Sports massage therapy can be used as a means to enhance pre-event preparation and reduce recovery time for maximum performance during training or after an event. Athletes have discovered that specially designed sports massage promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries and prepares their body and mind for optimal performance.
One of the key benefits of Sports massage therapy compared to other modalities is its ability to target muscle-tendon junctions. A 2010 study in the journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that even a 30-second massage improved hip-flexor range of motion. Another study conducted by Margaret Jones, Ph.D. of the American College of Sports Medicine, demonstrated a notable trend toward decreased muscle soreness in the athletes who received massage either before or after exercise.
WHEN SHOULD I GET ONE?
The light-touch, free massages often offered at finish line festivals can help calm the nervous system by allowing the body to commence its natural repair state quicker. Racers can schedule a recovery-focused sports massage within several hours up to 48 hours after an event, although we recommend massage newbies wait three to four days, as they may be too sore within the first few days fully benefit from (and appreciate) the experience.
For anyone participating in regular physical activity, sports massage therapy every week or two may be a great addition to your normal regimen. It’s best to talk with one of our professional massage therapists to find a plan that will work best with your schedule, level of activity and budget.
COMMON CONDITIONS TREATED
- Trigger Points
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- IT Band Syndrome
- Runner’s Knee
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
A good sports massage can greatly help with conditions that patients often seek more aggressive measures (e.g. steroid shots & surgery). Addressing a sports injury conservatively can result in an easy fix with the right care plan, treatment and home care!
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Dehydration can stiffen the fascia and muscles, which translates to a more painful massage. Ensure you’re sipping adequate amounts of H20 before you hop on the table. If you are dealing with a serious sports injury though, and don’t have a diagnosis, definitely see one of our doctors. While a therapist can identify and attempt to alleviate any tightness and inflammation in the body, it is very important you first consult with a sports doctor. Once a diagnosis is given, your massage therapist can work with that information and use massage as a helpful tool in recovery.