Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy
Sports Massage Therapy
Sports massage therapy is geared toward athletes of every kind, from world-class professionals to weekend joggers. The particulars of the sports massage technique are specific to the athlete’s sport of choice. Focusing 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.
Sports massage is designed to prepare the athlete for their best performance, reduce fatigue, and relieve muscle swelling and tension. During physical activity—especially strenuous—muscle tension builds up in the body’s soft tissues. Due to overextension or overuse, minor injuries and lesions occur in these tissues that can cause a great deal of pain and poor athletic performance. Sports massage helps alleviate pain and prevent such injuries that greatly affect flexibility, mobility, response time, and overall performance in athletic events.
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, PhD, 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.
Heavily exercised muscles may also lose their capacity to relax. This causes chronically tight muscles, and loss of flexibility. Lack of flexibility is often linked to muscle soreness, and predisposes athletes to injuries– especially muscle pulls and tears. Blood flow through tight muscles is poor (ischemia), which also causes pain. A regular routine of massage therapy is very effective in combating these effects of heavy exercised muscles.