Sports massage therapy is a treatment that is geared towards athletics and sports participants. This therapy is performed by applying different kinds of pressure over the body by using hands or forearms, elbows, feet, and knees (in rare cases). This therapy aims to provide relaxation and comfort to the person receiving it.
This treatment is specifically designed to treat and manage pain, musculoskeletal diseases, and soft tissue inquires. It is also called manual therapy because it includes the manual application of pressure to mold the injured muscles. To some extent, it also involves mobilization and management of affected joints.
Sports massage therapy is categorized depending upon when it is performed. It can be done as a pre-event massage (one hour before the game), inter-event massage (in between the game), or as a post-event massage (during rest days).
How It Works
In sports massage therapy, different types of techniques are used, such as:
- Tapotement Technique
It is usually done to prepare an athlete’s muscles for a vigorous and harsh physical activity through cupping and hacking motions. The therapist utilizes both of his hands to massage the skin and make distinctive sounds. These movements increase the flow of blood into deep tissues to recover muscle soreness and pain.
- Petrissage Technique
It involves kneading like movements where the muscles are squeezed and grasped to improve fluid exchange in the tissues and to stretch muscle fibers. It helps in the relaxation of the muscles and to improve their mobility as well. The therapist uses the base of his thumb and fingers to apply a friction technique to disperse realign and adhesion muscle fibers in isolated areas of the body. He/she applies a considerable amount of pressure on the muscles to bring back muscular elasticity and to break scarring tissues.
This technique has also proven to be beneficial in quick healing through stimulation of blood flow in the muscles.
- Effleurage Technique
By using multiple kinds of stroking movements and hand sliding over an athlete’s skin surface, a therapist can massage to stretch the tightened muscles and increase blood circulation to the muscular tissues.
Based on different experiences and observations, many benefits of sports massage therapy have been reported. Some of these psychological and physiological benefits include:
- Improved joint range of motion (also called as ROM)
- Increased muscular and joint flexibility
- More sense of wellbeing and health
- Decreased muscle tension, soreness, and pain
- Reduced neurological excitability (the nerves are more relaxed)
- Low muscle spasms
- The person can sleep more comfortably and peacefully
- Increased blood flow to the muscles
- Quick elimination of exercise waste products
- Low chances of getting injured again
- Speedy recovery between workout sessions
- Improve endurance performance by improving the rate at which the muscles use oxygen
- Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
- Improve mood and reduce anxiety
- Bring nutrients and vital oxygen to the body
- Stabilizes the cortisol level on an athlete (a stress hormone like adrenaline)
Any athlete can find these advantages quite edgy and strong and therefore use this therapy as a mind and body remedy from pain and inflammation.
Book an Appointment
We provide services in the Summit County areas.
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