SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports massage therapy is a specific form of bodywork geared toward participants in athletics which is available both in-clinic and via on-site team coverage. Sports massage therapy has three basic forms: pre-event massage, post-event massage, and maintenance massage.
The Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy
Athletic massages are obviously a benefit to people who play professional sports, but these athletes are not the only people who can benefit from sports massage therapy. The emphasis on athletics comes from the high rate of physical strain and damage caused by long term participation in sport activities, as well as the training that often goes with them. However, there are plenty of activities that can have an equal or greater toll on the body’s physical well-being.
The Three Types of Sports Massage Therapy
Sports massage is a generic term for three different types of massage associated with athletic performance. Each type of massage has its own benefits and uses different techniques. The three types of sports massage therapies are:
- Pre-event sports massage
- Post-event sports massage
- Maintenance sports massage
Pre-event Sports Massage Therapy
Pre-event sports massage is done to help prevent serious athletic injury and is generally given shortly before an athlete competes. It helps to warm up the muscles, stretching them and making them flexible for optimal athletic performance. A pre-event massage will stimulate the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles, reduce muscle tension, loosen muscles, and produce a feeling of psychological readiness.
Post-event Sports Massage Therapy
Post-event sports massage helps reduce the swelling caused by microtraumas; loosens tired, stiff muscles; helps maintain flexibility; will promote blood flow to the muscles to remove lactic acid and waste build-up, and reduces cramping. A post-event massage is usually given 1-2 hours after a competition is over in order to give the dilated blood vessels a chance to return to their normal condition and is generally light and gentle in order not to damage already distressed muscles. Additionally, post-event sports massage helps to speed up the athlete’s recovery time.
Maintenance Sports Massage Therapy
Maintenance sports massage is done at least once a week as a regular part of athletic training. Getting maintenance massages will help increase the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles and aid in keeping the tissue loose so that the different layers of muscle can slide easily over each other. Maintenance sports massage also helps reduce the development of scar tissue while increasing flexibility and range of motion.
Sports team coverage is a dedicated Heartland Rehab service provided to any major sporting teams by our experienced physiotherapists at both local and international events or games. This includes services such as pre-participation screenings, on-field rehabilitation, pre-game taping, pitch-side care for acute injuries including first aid, and on-site post-game injury assessment, and treatment.
The Goal of Sports Massage Therapy
The goal of all sports massage is to maximize an athlete’s performance. Depending on the sport the athlete is playing, the sports massage will be concentrated on different parts of the body. Each type of sports massage uses different massage techniques. Combining techniques will allow our physiotherapist to achieve the maximum desired result for the athlete.