What is Sports Massage?
Sports Massage – Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. It’s more vigorous than a Swedish Massage.
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.
This treatment is not just for the sports person: anyone can benefit from sports massage, including people in physically demanding jobs and those not quite so obvious (occupational, emotional, and postural stress may produce many similar characteristics to sports injuries).
Sports massage tends to be deeper and more intense. It is based on the various elements of Swedish massage and often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression, friction, toning, and trigger point response techniques similar to Acupressure and Shiatsu. A skilled therapist brings together this blend of techniques, knowledge, and advice during treatment, to work effectively with the client to bring about optimum performance and to provide injury-free training, and minimize post-event injuries.
Sports Massage is best administered 1 /1/2 hours before your event or 1 1/2 hours after your event.
A Sports massage is ideal to treat injuries and as well as a preventative treatment dealing with the health of muscle and connective tissue, range of movement, tone, symmetry, the balance of muscle, and quality of posture.
My role is ‘the manipulation of soft tissue to release tension, reduce pain, restore range of movement, and promote good condition’. This is achieved through a range of techniques I possess and carry around in my ‘tool bag’, some of which are effective on some people, some of which are not. It is then down to me to work with my clients to find the right tools to unravel their current injury situation or assist them with their training program. Essentially the ‘manipulation of soft tissue’ in my books means moving muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue around in a range of ways to achieve the desired effect.
What techniques does a sports massage practitioner use?
As practitioners, our backgrounds, training, and working experiences do make our individual ways of working quite different. When you couple this with the varying shapes and sizes of clients, their own tolerance levels, and their differing requirements, treatments can alter tremendously. This can include the standard ‘massage’ techniques, stroking through muscle groups, or picking specific muscles out and creating movement within them in different directions or at varying depths and strengths. It could also be the isolation of a muscle or muscle group and stretching them in any number of ways with client participation, passive/subtle movements along the muscle body, or indeed deep into specific areas as deemed appropriate. Working into specific areas concentrating efforts to break down tensions or ‘adhesions’ may be required or separating the layers of connective tissue may be the key to remedy the situation at hand.
When looking at and treating the injury or symptoms, root causes are also carefully considered and this may lead the treatment into other areas around the body. Some of these areas may seem quite strange to work on, to begin with given the case scenario, and therefore advising the client is always something that I try to achieve in the most simplistic, understandable way.
If there is pain or discomfort, loss of mobility, or restriction of movement we, as soft tissue specialists, can treat and hopefully cure. If there is a sporting activity or a training schedule being followed regular treatments can enhance performance and an ongoing relationship with the practitioner can only make this even more effective. Similarly, our everyday working lives and lifestyles create the same set of problems and these, in the same way, can also be treated successfully.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.