Sports Massage, 8 ways it can benefit you!
How Can a Sports Massage Benefit You??
Sports massage can play an important part in the life of any man or woman whether they are injured or not, as it benefits both, the physical, physiological and psychological. Not only does it prevent injuries and loss of mobility. It helps restore mobility to injured muscle tissue, boost performance and extend your functional life span.
How does it do all this?
The Physical benefits of massage
1) The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
2) Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
3) Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibers are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build-up.
4) Breaking down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can affect muscle, tendons, and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
5) Improved tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
6) Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily
The Physiological benefits of massage
Reduction in Pain – Tension and waste products in muscles often are a source of pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.
Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching.
which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.
Areas that can benefit from a Sports Massage
Lower leg & ankle
Arm & elbow
Back and Neck
For example in the Leg and ankle
Calf strain – Sports massage for calf strains can be used after the initial acute phase has finished. But not in the first 5 days post-injury.
Shin splints – Sports massage & myofascial release for shin splints/medial tibial stress may be beneficial after the first 3 days.
Ankle sprain – Cross friction massage can be applied to ankle ligaments can help prevent and realign scar tissue. Massage can also be applied to the calf muscles to aid recovery.
Achilles tendonitis – Sports massage techniques can help with the treatment of Achilles tendon pain. Massage mobilizes the tissues and helps align scar tissue.