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Should you spring for a stint in the post-marathon massage tent? Get a regular rubdown to help your recovery as you train? Research shows that sports massage doesn’t always do what you think it does—but it may still help you recover from a tough workout.
Most importantly: Sports massage doesn’t flush lactic acid, or other “toxins,” from your muscles. Lactic acid is produced during exercise, and you might associate it with a burning feeling during hard work, but it’s not a problem, isn’t responsible for next-day soreness, and doesn’t need help to be removed from the muscles.
The purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those bothersome injuries that so often get in the way of performance and your athletic goals, whether one is an athlete, or a once a week jogger.