Sports massage was originally developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage emphasises prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons and is good for people with chronic pain or restricted range of motion.
What Happens During Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesion’s (knots within the muscles) and increase range of motion.
There are 4 Types of Sports Massage
- Pre-event sports massage — a short, stimulating massage 15-45 minutes before the event. It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
- Post-event sports massage — given within an hour or two of the event, to normalise the body’s tissues.
- Restorative sports massage — given during training to allow the athlete to train harder and with less injury.
- Rehabilitative sports massage — aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.
When Should I Get a Sports Massage?
A sports massage is a good choice if you have a specific problem, a tender knee from running for instance. It is a good idea to see a movement therapist, who can help you identify and correct the movement pattern that might be causing your injury in the first place.
The therapist generally focuses in on the problem area, a tight hamstring for instance, rather than giving you a full-body massage. If you have an expectations or questions about your treatment, please discuss this with your therapist.