Benefits of Sports Massage

When it comes to training, post-workout stretching and recovery are often ignored. While it is easy to count it out, recovery is an important step in every training program. Any kind of exercise weighs on …

When it comes to training, post-workout stretching and recovery are often ignored. While it is easy to count it out, recovery is an important step in every training program. Any kind of exercise weighs on the body, so you need to help your muscles and tendons repair properly before working them again. While rest and stretching should be a daily practice, many individuals also benefit from a form of massage therapy called a sports massage. 

Sports massage is a type of technique that focuses on treating soft tissue aches, pain and injuries relevant to a particular sport or physical activity. This treatment works by reducing tension and stress that accumulates in the body’s soft tissues during training. Whether you are a professional sports player, avid gym-goer, or weekly jogger, sports massage makes for an ideal complement to your recovery routine.

Types of Sports Massage Techniques

Each sport and physical activity uses different muscle groups. A sports massage therapist is familiar with each muscle and how they are affected by the specific movements and stresses of each sport or athletic event. Sports massage therapy may include any of the following techniques:

Deep Swedish Massage – This technique consists of specific strokes, including effleurage (sliding movements), petrissage (kneading movements), friction (rubbing), vibration and percussion techniques. This massage is mainly used to increase blood flow, easing tension in the body’s muscles and improving their flexibility.

Compression Massage – The compression technique is performed by laying hands over a muscle area and pushing down onto the tissues.

Trigger Point Massage – Trigger point massage focuses on releasing trigger points, which are small, tight knots that develop in muscles.

Cross-Fiber Massage – Cross-Fiber massage uses friction techniques to create a stretching and broadening effect in large muscle groups. This technique is great for tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

Lymphatic Massage – This technique encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body. 

Benefits of Sports Massage

Some of the reported benefits of sports massage include:

Increased Joint Range of Motion (ROM)

Increased range of movement is a benefit often gained through many types of massages. When the joints and muscles are stiff and tight, movement is often restricted and pain increases. A sports massage can help relax and loosen the tight muscles by increasing tissue elasticity and flexibility.

Reduces the Chance of Injury

Injuries, such as muscle strains, pulls and tears, can occur for a variety of reasons, with the most common causes being overuse, muscle weakness and muscle tightness. By stretching connective tissue, a sports massage can improve circulation to help prevent or break down adhesions. Massage also helps with the excretion of certain fluids that are necessary for tissue repair, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur.

Improved Circulation

There are two main types of circulation within the body, the circulation of blood flow and the circulation of lymph flow. Swelling, tightness, tension and pain may occur when a person’s circulation is poor. Massage facilitates circulation because the pressure created by the massage technique moves blood through the congested areas. The squeezing and pulling can also help flush and remove waste products and toxins from within the body, promoting healthier muscles.

Shorten Recovery Time

A sports massage can help shorten recovery time between workouts. After exercise, waste products, such as lactic and carbonic acid, build up in the muscles. These waste products are what causes soreness the following day. Massage can help increase circulation to these muscles, which helps to eliminate toxic debris and shorten recovery time. 

Schedule an Appointment

The benefits of massage therapy are varied and far-reaching. Massage Therapy is an important part of providing you a complete solution to building a life of health and well being. If you have acute or chronic pain, sore muscles or are recovering from an injury, contact Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of NY & CT for information on our Massage Therapy services or to make an appointment now.