Massage is a beneficial therapy often used to help people recover from injuries, increase circulation, soothe sore muscles, and relieve stress. While all forms of massage are somewhat similar, sports massage uses techniques to help athletes achieve more remarkable sports performance.
When used in combination, strength training, massage, and hydrotherapy together help athletes reach specific goals. Sports massage targets pressure points to get the patient’s deepest spine and joint tissue.
Athletes often push their bodies to the limits, potentially resulting in pain, stress, or injury. Not surprisingly, any damages can be career-threatening. Athletes understand the benefits of sports massage when training, competing, and when recovering. Here are some of the most notable benefits.
- Many athletes experience an increase in motion (ROM) range, which helps them excel at their sport.
- Flexibility gets boosted, which makes for more fluid sports performance.
- Many feel a heightened sense of well-being, increasing confidence.
- Most experience a marked decrease in muscle tension which is always beneficial for athletes.
- Neurological excitability decreases, calming the nerves.
- This therapy reduces the occurrence of muscle spasms, helping with pain management and performance.
- Sports massage helps athletes sleep better, which makes them being well-rested for practice and play.
Since athletes depend on their bodies and well-being differently than most, they reap significant benefits from a regiment that deals with treating the body holistically using a variety of treatments ranging from sports massage to sports nutrition for optimal results.
Sports Massage vs. Deep Tissue Massage
Sports massage and deep tissue massage share characteristics but differ in purpose and technique. Both involve applying heavy pressure on the body’s pressure points.
Most deep tissue masseuses apply firm pressure over a large area of the body to alleviate stiffness. Sports massage takes a more targeted approach, focusing pressure on specific areas and using a particular technique.
Since sports are highly specialized, sports massage helps to address specific problems or pains. For instance, a baseball pitcher will have very different needs than a sprinter, so a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment isn’t comprehensive.
Discover the Different Types of Sports Massage
Athletes can choose from four types of sports massage that provide relief and performance gains for athletes.
Pre-Event Sports Massage
As the name implies, athletes receive this form of therapy four hours before an event. The therapist targets the massage at the body parts most needed to increase performance. Pre-Event Sports Massage helps calm a nervous athlete down or energize an athlete ready for competition. It supplements the regular warm-up routine and gets the person prepared to give their best.
Post-Event Sports Massage
Post-Event Sports Massage occurs within four hours following competition or training. This targeted massage aids stressed muscles. A massage after a sporting event helps release harmful waste that can cause cramps, aches, and pains, a win for any athlete who played hard at their sport.
Training Sports Massage
Training Sports Massage therapy is ongoing and occurs between other massage sessions. The primary purpose is to boost performance and reduce exercise recovery times. Simultaneously, training sports massage lowers the chance of injuries, helps with inflammation, reduces tension, and treats minor injuries before they cause significant trouble.
Rehabilitative Sports Massage
Rehabilitative Sports Massage helps athletes recover from sports injuries so they can return to the field or court. The treatment focuses on peak conditioning, reducing inflammation, breaking down scar tissue, returning flexibility to muscles and tendons, and alleviating pain. Another benefit is a lower chance of subsequent injuries.
These different approaches to sports massage therapy provide relief and comfort to sore, aching, or stressed muscles so that athletes can perform at their highest levels.
Winning at athletics takes having a competitive edge over your rivals. For some, sports massage is the “something extra” that yields that advantage. Athletes recover faster from competitions and practice and likely suffer fewer injuries overall. As a team manager, coach, or advisor, it’s a mistake to overlook the distinctive advantages that sports massage offers your team members or athletic team.
A relatively small investment in this holistic treatment is relatively inconsequential, especially compared to the multiple benefits of improved athletic performance.
Every athlete who feels more vital, robust, faster, flexible, and more accurate is way ahead of competitors who limp into the competition. When you factor intangible benefits, like increased confidence, you see why most athletes will surely benefit from the advantages that sport massage offers.
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Sports Massage Helps Athletes Deal With Injuries
Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid all sports injuries. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan that mitigates them. Sports massage aims at the areas that prevent injuries and help athletes recover from past traumas. Chronic pain can affect performance, so massage therapy is a direct approach to reduce it to a manageable level. Further, building flexibility for particular sports will impact success.
Any athlete who weighs these factors understands that sports massage therapy is an investment in their health and well-being and their careers’ longevity and prosperity.
Develop a Strategy To Lengthen Your Career
If you’re an athlete, you should put as many factors on your side as possible to succeed and meet your goals and objectives. While training and nutrition are the leading cornerstones, they’re merely the beginning.
Sports massage therapy is among the most enhanced techniques that directly treat the body holistically. Outside of those with a few pre-existing medical conditions, almost every athlete can benefit from massage.
When your muscles are sore, tired, or cramped, massage therapy helps rejuvenate your body, so you feel more highly energized and ready to tackle your next physical feat.
This ages-old physical therapy has considerably evolved through the years. These days, practitioners are more scientific and grounded in physiology to pinpoint areas that need work.
If you’re feeling the ill effects of a sports injury, it’s worth your time to explore how massage can help. Recovering from exercise, competition, and injuries all benefit from targeted massages. Over time, they provide both short-term and long-term relief from muscle aches, pains, and strains. And, it’s the secret weapon that helps you outperform your competitors.