Whatever your sport, whatever your level, sports massage should be part of your training. Sports massage can help to prevent injury, enhance performance and should injury occur, help with its treatment and rehabilitation.
Injury Prevention – Sports massage involves thorough exploration of your muscles. Areas of tension and tenderness that you didn’t know you had may be discovered. Such areas can become injury sites. Early identification allows for early treatment and enables you to fine tune your training so that they do not become a bigger problem.
Your training is probably aimed at improving your skill, strength, speed or endurance. To achieve improvement you will probably increase the level of your training and subject your body to additional stress. These stresses can cause muscular imbalances, which can cause pain and reduce performance. If these problems are ignored they can becomes chronic or lead to more serious injuries, which may prevent you from training.
Enhancement of Performance – Sports massage helps to keep muscles in peak condition. It promotes recovery from training and reduces the side effects of muscle soreness and stiffness. Faster recovery from training leads to increased training potential and allows for improvement in your quality and quantity of training.
Treatment and Rehabilitation – Unfortunately from time to time injuries occur. However sports massage can speed up the recovery of muscle, tendon and ligament injuries.
Tempting as it may be, trying to train with an injury is not going to help its recovery. However rest on its own may also not be the best thing. Although the muscle fibres will heal with rest, the fibres often misalign themselves while they are healing. The resulting scar tissue that forms can reduce the muscles flexibility and strength. Sports massage can help to break down the scar tissue and ensure that as it heals proper function is restored to the muscle.
Sports massage for the competitor
Ideally sports massage will form part of your training regime. It is also typically used before during and after events.
Pre event sports massage can work with your warm up to either stimulate or relax you. However not everyone responds in the same way to massage, so it’s best to try one during your training to see what suits you, rather than have your first one just before a major event.
During competition sport Massage can help you finish.
Post-event massage can work with your cool down to reduce the build-up of lactic acid and to help you relax and recover.
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