Sports massage is a form of bodywork, helping prevent injuries, to prepare the body for athletic activity, maintain it in optimal condition, and to help athletes and people practising sports to recover from workouts and injuries. It is performed with slow, deep movements, applying passive and active stretching, myofascial release, PNF and neuro-muscular-technique.
Sports massage is a generic term for three different types of massage associated with athletic performance. Each type of massage has its own benefits and uses different techniques.
Helps prevent serious athletic injury by warming up the muscles, stretching them and making them flexible for optimal athletic performance. A pre-event massage stimulates the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles, reduces muscle tension, loosens the muscles, and produces a feeling of psychological readiness.
Whenever athletes exercise heavily, their muscles suffer microtraumas. Small amounts of swelling occur in the muscle because of tiny tears.
Helps reduce the swelling caused by microtraumas; loosens tired, stiff muscles; helps maintain flexibility; promotes blood flow to the muscle to remove lactic acid and waste build-up; and reduces cramping. In addition, post-event massage helps speed the athlete’s recovery time and alleviates pulls, strains, and soreness.
Should be performed at least once a week as a regular part of athletic training programs, although professional athletes who have their own massage therapists may have maintenance massage daily. Maintenance massage increases the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles. It also keeps the tissues loose so that different layers of muscle slide easily over each other. It also helps reduce the development of scar tissue while increasing flexibility and range of motion.
Conditions that generally respond well to massage as a complementary therapy include: