Massage therapy has evolved from spa treatments for relaxation to specialized health-related therapies, including sports massage. It is gaining importance in injury rehabilitation and prevention for athletes of all kinds.
Sports massage can help prepare an athlete for competition, enhance athletic performance, and even be a complementary treatment after exercise or competition. It is an important type of medical intervention for sports-related musculoskeletal injuries to help speed up recovery.
How Is Sports Massage Therapy Different from Regular Massage?
Athletes and sportsmen are prone to injury due to the sheer risks they take. Usually, damaged tissue heals on its own – but when muscles are continually taxed by the demands of a high-performance sport, a permanent disabling condition may result if it’s not addressed.
Sports massage therapy is geared towards athletes and their particular sports. It focuses on areas that are overused and stressed from repetitive and aggressive movements. Sports massage has a specific physical goal: to help heal injuries and prevent future ones from occurring.
Muscles can lose their ability to relax; they shrink and tighten. Chronically tight muscles make you more susceptible to injury, as they can pull or tear easily. Poor blood flow through tightened muscles (ischemia) also causes pain.
Massage therapy can supplement traditional rehabilitation procedures by encouraging circulation, relaxing muscles, and stimulating more oxygen and nutrients to flow into tissues and vital organs. This also allows the injured areas to heal at an accelerated rate.
Benefits of Sports Massage
Because sports massage is geared specifically to the athlete, sports massage focuses on muscles that have seen a large degree of repetitive and aggressive movement, stress, and overuse. Its positive impacts include:
- Eliminating by-products such as lactic and uric acids, which are natural by-products of exercise. Sports massage helps rub out and eliminate these metabolic waste products.
- Relaxing overall effects on tense muscles has a sedative effect on the nervous system, reducing stress.
- Enhancing motion and flexibility via massage before a competition or after an injury.
- Reducing blood pressure by dilating veins, thereby increasing blood flow and delivering additional oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. This also accelerates metabolism and increases strength and stamina.
- Improving sleep quality after exercise and competition by helping to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
- Reducing pain by increasing blood and lymph fluid flow, speeding the injury rehabilitation process by reducing cramps, pain, and spasms.
The benefits of sports massage are cumulative. Ongoing massage therapy makes a significant difference in performance and recovery.
Sports Massage Therapists in Ohio
If you are a high school athlete, college athlete, or professional athlete, you need specialists by your side who know how to quickly attend to your specific sport by preparing your body for performance – and by treating any injuries with particular knowledge in sports medicine.
If you have suffered a sports injury or you’d like to prepare your body for competition, we can help. Please call our Twinsburg office at (330) 963-2920 or our Brecksville office at (440) 746-1730 to schedule an appointment with one of our certified physical or massage therapy experts.
You can also submit an appointment request online right now. We look forward to helping you not only get in the game, but win!