Sports massage was originally developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for the best performance, to optimize their training, or to recover after a big event. Sports massage not only aids in the prevention of injuries to the muscles and tendons, but helps in healing and recovery.
However, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also good for anyone with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area; sore neck, shoulders back, etc. This is the type of sports massage that you see in spas.
What Happens During Sports Massage?
Sports massage is very similar to Swedish massage and it stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles) and increase range of motion.
The four types of sports massage are:
* 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 normalize the body’s tissues.
* restorative sports massage- given during training to allow the athelete to train harder and with less injury.
* rehabilitative sports massage – aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.
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. The massage therapist usually focuses in on the problem area — a frozen shoulder or pulled hamstring, for instance — rather than giving you a full body massage.
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