Sports massage techniques are suitable for both sports people and non-athletes alike and can help with injuries, chronic pain, muscle aches and restricted range of motion in all of us! It can help be an effective therapy for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the Musculo-skeletal system, optimising flexibility and maintaining a healthier physical state.
Sports massage can help with:
- Acute and chronic lower back pain and sciatica
- Neck pain, cervicogenic headaches, migraine prevention
- Sports injuries including: cramp, tennis and golfer’s elbow
- Frozen shoulder and other shoulder pain
- Hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis
- Fibromyalgia, rheumatic pain, digestive and circulatory problems
You do not need to be a sportsperson to benefit from a sports massage. The treatment can also help relieve many day-to-day problems such as repetitive strain injury, sprains, work related tension and fatigue. Nearly all of us must have stood up after a long stint at a desk or sitting in one position and felt the need to stretch arms, legs or backs – it is this natural desire of the body to have its tissues in a flexible state that a regular massage can help with.
For those athletes and sports people out there, a sports specific massage can be beneficial at various stages of participation:
- The conditioning / training phase
- Pre and post competition
- Post travel
- To aid both injury prevention and recovery
A constant build up of tension in the muscles from regular activity may lead to stresses on joints, ligaments and tendons. This overuse can often create problems and imbalances in the soft tissues and if ignored, can lead to chronic long terms injuries which may affect improvement and performance.
Kinesiology taping can be combined with sports massage if necessary.
It allows for movement in the affected tissues, but has the ability to aid the lymphatic and muscle systems, substantially reducing recovery times, whilst improving range of motion and muscle activity.
As an office worker you many suffer from regular tension type headaches or pain in your neck, shoulders or back. Sports massage can benefit you just as much as an athlete. If you sit at a desk for 8 hours per day with very little breaks, you can experience the same type of strains on the body as an athlete training over one hour. Gradually, this then builds up and an increase in muscle tension increases the active trigger points in the body and the presence of scar tissue.
Main Benefits for Sports Massage
Pumping – The stroking or skimming technique (Effleurage) in massage pushes fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. Increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind to help also pull blood and fluid. 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.
Increased tissue permeability – 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.
Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres 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.
Break 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.
Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
Opens micro-circulation – 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.
Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.
Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation. We have a number of Relax and Breath Classes in Clinic which helps massively with the relaxation alongside the massage techniques.
Anxiety reduction – through the effects mentioned above relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels. Lower anxiety levels will aid recovery and give a better chemical balance in the body
Invigorating – if massage is done with brisk movements such as what would be done before an event, then this can produce an invigorating feeling.
What to wear for
During Treatment you may be required to remove parts of clothing to ensure the best treatment possible for you.
Generally attending a session in shorts and T-shirt would suffice. You may be requested to lay on your front in a bra, but remember, this is not anything new to the Team and discretion is used always with Practitioners leaving the room after discussing how they wish to treat you. Never will a patient be left to feel uncomfortable, and communication is key at all levels.