Why Should I Have Sports Massage?
March 16, 2022
Updated 16th March 2022
Congratulations to all runners who have been successful in securing a place in the 2022 Great North Run. Whether you are well into your training plan or yet to get started it is likely that you have considered whether to include sports massage into your schedule. Whilst it is common to see elite athletes receiving sports massages pre- and post- events, it is often something that is overlooked by more amateur athletes and those who simply participate in sports for their own enjoyment and fitness.
Here we look at what sports massage can offer to all individuals regardless of their participation level.
What is Sports Massage and How is it of Benefit?
During a sports massage the musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons and ligaments) is manipulated using hands-on techniques in order to improve its efficiency.
Sports massage is proven to release and reduce tension in muscles, improve circulation and encourage the removal of waste products such as lactic acid during high intensity activity and can help to relax the body. All of this helps promote recovery and reduces the chance of muscle injury. Those who are prone to overuse injuries often benefit from sports massage in between training sessions, as the muscles are allowed to relax and recover fully before the next session. In addition to the physical benefits, sports massage can help an athlete to mentally prepare for their activity or competition.
Who Can Benefit From Sports Massage?
Anyone and everyone! Whether you are a seasoned competitor looking to improve your performance and achieve PB, new to sports and want to relax your aching muscles, are returning from an injury and keen to get going again or simply want to prevent injury following gentle jogs, a sports massage could benefit you.
When should I have a sports massage?
Sports massage can be effective during preparation, training, competition and recovery, though the emphasis of the massage will vary for each stage.
Routine maintenance massage: A regular massage treatment programme can be devised by a physiotherapist based on the individual’s requirements for their sport and level of participation. It can concentrate on particular muscle groups to help to maintain or improve the range of movement and flexibility and can target any area which are likely to cause the individual trouble or injuries to assist in their prevention. Your physiotherapist can also give you stretches and exercises to help maintain the benefits between each massage.
Massage for a specific event or competition: Massage before and after an event are used for specific purposes. Pre-event massage can be used alongside a participant’s warm-up to boost circulation and reduce muscle tension, whilst also assisting with mental preparation. Massage given following an event is used to enhance the body’s recovery process through reducing muscle spasms and metabolic build-up. Effective pre- and post- event massage can allow a participant to return more quickly to training and competition and reduce the risk of injury
Rehabilitation: If you are returning to a sport following injury, sports massage can aid in the rehabilitation process, it can speed healing and reduce discomfort. The techniques used in sports massage can be effective for both acute and chronic injuries.
Should I have a Sports massage or physio assessment & treatment?
Sports massage is an excellent way to encourage fast recovery and assist in injury prevention. However if you have sustained an injury that is preventing you form participating in the sport that you love, or you are struggling to perform at your best due to a series of “niggles”, we would recommend that you book an appointment for a physio assessment and treatment which can address problems in more detail.