This type of massage can be used for general relaxation of the musculoskeletal system as well as being directed into local problem areas – thereby improving recovery and ensuring re-injury does not occur. Massage is also a great way of removing everyday aches and pains.
As in most areas of massage therapy, knowledge of the muscular and skeletal systems and a sound understanding of anatomy and physiology are prerequisites to sports massage. Athletes who commit to intensive training regimens can strain, overwork and in some cases cause chronic damage to body function. A sports massage therapist understands those injuries inherent to athletes (i.e. soft tissue damage) and the primary systems affected.
In order to limit damage and stress to joints, muscles and tendons sports massage therapists must lessen fibre tension and restore musculo-skeletal balance. By creating this bodily symmetry, a sports massage therapist pre-empts potential injuries.
Sports Massage covers three main categories: event (pre and post), maintenance, and rehabilitation.
Event massage takes place before an event (or workout), as part of warming up, or afterwards, to reduce the muscle spasms and metabolic build up that occurs after intensive exercise. Pre-event sports massage therapy warms up the muscles – getting the blood circulation going and allowing longer workout with reduced risk of injury, increased flexibility and greater range of motion.Post-event sports massage therapy relieves muscle cramps and spasm, jumpstarting the process of removing lactic acid build up in muscles that occurs with exercise.
Maintenance massage is designed to help the athlete reach peak performance through a routine program of massage. Rehabilitation massage aids in the management of both acute and chronic injuries. These benefits are valuable not only for athletes, but for anyone who works out on a regular basis.
Rehabilitation sports massage increases flexibility and range of motion, reducing muscle scar tissue formation, muscle soreness, stiffness, cramps and pain. Maintenance sports massage recharges and renews the body and reduces the risk of injury.
Some practitioners use acupuncture alongside their massage treatment. Please be aware that under NHS guidelines a period of four months must elapse after acupuncture treatment before donating blood.
An excellent treatment for soft tissue injury whether caused through sport, illness or tripping over the dog.