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 emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons. But you don't have to be an athlete to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion.
The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area e.g. sore neck and shoulders, back or legs. A sports massage is a good choice if you have a specific problem e.g. a tender knee from running, a frozen shoulder or pulled hamstring, for instance rather than giving you a full-body massage and uses advanced techniques for effective results.
Sports massages are designed to release muscle tension and restore balance to the musculo-skeletal system.
The benefits can be immense, and include physical, physiological and psychological improvements such as:
Increase sporting performance - Pre-event massage will ensure the body is ready for strenuous performance to prepare athletes to perform at their best.
Maintain the human body in a healthy condition.
Prevent injuries and reduce the recovery period following an injury - due to overextension or over-use, minor injuries and lesions occur in tissues that can cause pain. One of the most common setbacks for athletes is delayed onset muscle soreness or most commonly known as DOMS. This refers to muscle pain that typically develops several hours post exercise and consists of predominantly eccentric muscle actions. Recent studies have concluded that sports massage may help reduce and prevent DOMS.
Enhanced tissue permeability: Massage causes the tissue membrane pores to widen, allowing fluids and nutrients to pass through more readily. This enables waste products such as lactic acid to be removed rapidly and creates an environment whereby oxygen and nutrients are quickly delivered to the target muscles, allowing an enhanced recovery.
Increased flexibility: Massage stretches muscle tissue in a multidirectional manner, both longitudinally and laterally.
Scar tissue realignment: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. Massage can help realign the muscle fibers through stretching them and bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the area help healing.
Enhanced 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.
Inhibition of pain: A combination of tension and waste products within a muscle can often result in the sensation of pain. Massage lessens this painful feeling by its ability to reduce tension and remove waste products. It also encourages the release of endorphins.
Stimulates relaxation response: Massage creates an environment whereby heat generation, enhanced circulation and increased flexibility are all promoted. All of these factors play a role in stimulating mechanoreceptors in the body and creating relaxation.
Reduced anxiety levels:Through stimulating a relaxation response, massage has the additional benefit of lowering anxiety levels, creating a mood enlightening experience.
Invigorating bodily response:If the sports massage is completed utilising brisk movements prior to a sporting event then it can create an invigorating bodily response.
Sports massage should be applied before and after athletic events with many maintenance sessions in between.
My experience with Freedom Therapies has been excellent. When I picked up a foot injury and tightness in my lower leg in the weeks before my London Marathon run I decided to go for a couple of leg massages. I am sure that this directly contributed a successful and relatively low pain run. The service was very good as I received full and effective treatment on the areas that needed work.Louis Robertson - Bognor Regis
Wow, that is better than my osteopath can do in 3 sessions. That's phenomenal.Mitchell, Rose Green
I feel like a new man, my legs are my own again, brilliant!Alan, Parham
I can actually bend down and put my socks on now as before I couldn'tJamelle, Bognor Regis
I was meant to have an operation on my back but now have cancelled it as Anna's massages have helped so muchBen - Bognor Regis