Sports Injury Massage

Massage is an excellent way to treat sports-related injuries and many studies have confirmed that it can improve healing and ease pain. Massage therapy is an important aspect of athletic training and it’s often included in sports training regimens. Not only can massage aid in recovering from injuries, it can also help avoid sports injuries and help the body achieve optimum performance.

Muscle Stress Injuries and Healing

Massage is an excellent way to treat sports-related injuries and many studies have confirmed that it can improve healing and ease pain. Massage therapy is an important aspect of athletic training and it’s often included in sports training regimens. Not only can massage aid in recovering from injuries, it can also help avoid sports injuries and help the body achieve optimum performance.

The body’s healing response to soft tissue injuries is building scar tissue that holds tissue together. Without intervention, this scar tissue can cause new problems by inhibiting tissue movement and causing pain during movement.

Sports massage soon after an injury can aid in the healing process and encourage the body to heal properly. Manual therapy during the initial healing stage helps reduce swelling, increase lymph flow, and settle the nervous system before the body’s healing process stalls.

What is Sports Massage?

Sports massage is based on Swedish massage techniques. Designed for athletes, this type of massage focuses on muscles prone to overuse and stress due to aggressive or repetitive movements during sports and competition. This type of massage works to relieve tension in the body and help muscles relax while reducing swelling and damage to muscle tissue. Sports massage can be used regularly to help prevent sports injuries and after an injury to shorten recovery time.
Depending on the type of sport or exercise in which you participate, sports massage may involve stretch, fast-paced massage, Swedish massage, or other techniques. It may be tailored as a pre-workout massage to warm up muscles or after a workout to improve flexibility and reduce soreness. Sports massage tends to go deep so the massage may not always be comfortable, but it can offer great relief.

Sports massage can:

  • Help prevent and heal injuries by stretching connective tissue and improving circulation to break down or prevent adhesions (scar tissue).
  • Prevent over-training by relaxing the muscles and sedating the nervous system.
  • Shorten recovery time between workouts by increasing circulation to eliminate toxins and waste products in the muscles after exercise. Sports massage is an ideal way to help the body manage the stress on the body during exercise and prevent injury.
  • Improve range of motion and flexibility to improve performance.
  • Boost circulation and nutrition to muscles. Proper blood flow to the muscles is vital to create new muscle mass and increase stamina and stress.
  • Pain relief from sore, tight, or overused muscles.
  • Offer psychological benefits. Massage can be very invigorating and reduce anxiety and stress.

As with exercise, you will not get the same benefits from the occasional massage as you do from regular massage sessions. The benefits of therapeutic sports massage are cumulative so the more often you receive therapy, the more you will enjoy the benefits.
Sports massage techniques can be targeted to your goals as well:

  • Pre-event sports massage can be scheduled within an hour of an event to reduce anxiety, boost confidence and alertness, and help you get mentally prepared.
  • Post-event massage is designed to help you recuperate and relax. A post-exercise sports massage can reduce recovery time and reduce inflammatory markers to minimize muscle soreness and identify any new injuries.
  • Restorative massage can help you recover on a rest day from training load, treat minor injuries before they become worse, relieve tender spots, and reduce the risk of injuries.

Schedule an Appointment
Many athletes from professional golfers and basketball players to weekend sports enthusiasts work with a massage therapist to improve their performance and recovery. In fact, many professional athletes work with massage therapists affiliated with their team. If you engage in regular physical activity, sports massage twice a week can be an excellent addition to your regimen. Massage can also help you heal from sports-related injuries like strains and sprains to ensure a more full recovery and less downtime.

Schedule an appointment with ChiroFit Chatsworth to learn more about how sports massage can benefit you.

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