Massage therapies are used across the world to treat numerous injuries, illnesses, and muscle fatigue—and this has been true for centuries.
And with the passage of time, best practices, tools, and techniques have evolved to bring about revolutionary changes. Massage therapies are now used for recreational purposes, alongside treating several post-surgical injuries such as cancer, orthopedic treatment, arthritis, and even pregnancy.
Patients have been reaping the benefits for years now, but did you know that the field isn’t limited to the medical world? Physical therapists make use of massage therapy to boost athletes’ recovery in the aftermath of a sports injury. Sports massages also help athletes prepare for competitions and tournaments, as they release muscle tension, and relieve inflammation, anxiety, and fatigue. Given below are some more benefits that prove why every fitness program must incorporate sport massage therapies.
What is a Sports Massage?
Sports massage is the systematic manipulation of soft tissues in the body, tailored to a specific body part. Some famous personalities that have used sport massage therapy include former runner Paavo Nurmi. Nurmi used sports massage throughout the 1924 Olympiad in Paris, where he won 5 gold medals.
Many different movements and techniques are utilized in sports massage. Some of these techniques include Swedish vogue massage, massage (stroking), massage (kneading), compression, friction, massage (rhythmic striking), vibration, gliding, stretching, percussion, and trigger points.
These movements and techniques facilitate the athlete’s body, allowing them to succeed with a minimized likelihood of injury or pain, and a faster recovery.
Benefits of Sports Massage
Promotes Better flexibility
Every athlete needs heightened flexibility to perform well. Sports massage therapies promote better flexibility by stretching muscle fibers. This helps the athlete have greater control over their movement while playing a game.
Greater flexibility also prevents further sports injuries from occurring in the future, as it reduces muscle soreness. Once you start taking the treatment, you’ll notice that you’re becoming more flexible and responsive to movements you didn’t know you could overcome.
Reduced Muscle Fatigue
Muscle fatigue is commonly the result of excessive training or intense workouts. Muscle fatigue is common in athletes undergoing new coaching techniques and schedules or those who take up intense workouts.
If left untreated, it will cause tissue harm over time. This may result in poor circulation among the muscles, resulting in tightness and of the tissue. Stiffness and soreness stop athletes from performing at their peak. Routine medical care removes the buildup of carboxylic acid and other toxins within the muscles, relieving pain.
Helps Get Rid Of Toxins
Toxins build up due to continuous aggressive training. These toxins can negatively impact a person’s ability to perform well. They also trigger the release of the stress hormone, which can really exhaust an athlete.
Moreover, lower productivity or performance levels further shatter confidence in athletes.
A massage helps release muscle tension by boosting blood circulation. Increased blood circulation helps release toxins and impart negative energy elsewhere. Better blood flow improves oxygenation and the athlete thus gets a boost of energy which leads to escalated performance.
Better Mood and Mental Health
Having a healthy mind and sound body is very important for an athlete to give a game their all. Winning a tournament doesn’t just require physical strength; strong mental focus is also required.
If someone’s head space is negative, they can’t do well in any aspect of life. Just like physical health, a healthy mind can uplift confidence in an athlete, giving them a greater chance to win their battles on the ground.
Sports massage therapy is focused on uplifting a person’s mood by releasing the stress and anxiety in a patient’s body. It declutters the mind of negative thoughts, reducing the production of a stress hormone known as cortisol. An athlete will feel changes in their mood in just a few sessions.
Moreover, a relaxing massage session increases the production of hormones like endorphins. This is responsible for lifting a person’s mood, reducing stress, and relaxing the mind and body.
Sports massage therapy impacts connective tissue junctions in a positive manner. This reduces the chance of pulled muscles, injured tendons, and alternative connected injuries. As per a study from 2010 for the Journal of Strength and Acquisition, hip-flexor motion may be increased with a massage in just 30 seconds.
What Does the Research Have to Say?
Research conducted on sports massage concluded that athletes felt more relaxed and rejuvenated after just a few sessions. They experienced reduced stress, anxiety, and less fatigue. They also observed better sleep patterns, improved mood, and better overall well-being.
Sports massage therapy is no doubt a lifesaver for athletes who suffer from chronic stress, pain, or muscle soreness. It helps them get to their goals a lot quicker. Many studies have also claimed that sports massage reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) for a variety of reasons.
Numerous studies support the fact that massage can facilitate active recovery from low-intensity workout sessions, reducing the amount of lactic acid build-up in the muscles. In addition, more research done on the impacts on mental health showed positive results. Sports massage therapy impacts performance positively.
Many athletes vouch for sports massage therapy, as it has led to a significant improvement in their sports careers. If you are suffering from any sports injury or if you just want to improve performance by getting rid of muscle soreness, call us right away to book an appointment. Our trained masseuses use a combination of different massages that ensure you leave stress-free and rejuvenated.