What Is Sports Massage
There is both much confusion over what a Sports Masseur is and what one does or can offer. A Sports massage is ideal to treat injuries and as well as a preventative treatment dealing with the health of muscle and connective tissue, range of movement, tone, symmetry, balance of muscle and quality of posture.
In short Sports massage is a combination of several common massage styles created by a trained professional massage therapist to best help the athlete.
In general Sports massage was developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.
But you don’t have to be an athelete to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage or any massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion.
During the massage a therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area that you present, usually associated with some sort of sports activity, such as running, tennis, or golf. But as well can serve as an overall full body massage to relax the muscles.
The most important thing with sports massage is that you find a specially trained massage therapist who has mastery of a wide range of techniques and knows when to use them. Many spas used to put sports massage on their menu as a way to appeal to men. As spas have become more sophisticated, however, they realize they shouldn’t list sports massage unless they have some therapists with specialized training.
Types of Sports Massage
There are four types of sports massages:
- Pre-event sports massage: a short, stimulating massage 15-45 minutes before the event. It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
- Post-event sports massage: given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
- Restorative sports massage: given during training to allow the athelete to train harder and with less injury.
- Rehabilitative sports massage: aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.
The therapist might use Swedish massage to stimulate circulation of blood and lymph fluids, deep tissue
and trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles), and stretching to increase range of motion. Other techniques could include myofascial release, stretching, Hot stones for thermotherapy and other.
Professional sports teams often have massage therapists on staff to keep athletes bodies working at their very best. Not every massage therapist is able to do Sports Massage. Consult before your appointment for areas that might need more attention. Tell your therapist if you had or have any injuries and what sports your play or if you workout a lot at the gym.