Sports and remedial massage is a soft tissue massage treatment that is used to stimulate inactive muscles, improve soft tissue condition and stretch tight muscles. As the name suggests it is often popular with athletes and sporting personal. However, as it improves flexibility, assists recovery and prevents injury, anyone can benefit from a sports/remedial massage. Both athletes and non-athletes can gain physiological and psychological benefits. The benefits also help relieve the many day to day problems including, repetitive strain injury, sprains, tension, fatigue, that everyone experiences.
Benefits of Sports Massage:
- Reduce Aches and pains – This occurs due to massage dampening the activity of cytokines, which cause inflammation and pain. Also more mitochondria is produced, which is the cell structures that help muscles recover from activity and produce energy.
- Relieve muscle tensions – This is reduced by stroking action that stimulate the peripheral nerve receptors.
- Prevent injuries to muscles, tendons and ligaments – One of the most important benefits of sports massage is that it helps to maintain healthy muscles which help with the prevention of injury. A tight muscle may mean that it cannot function at its best, blood vessels can become compressed, which in turn, restricts the flow of nutrients and oxygen.
- Improve circulation – Localised blood flow is often improved with sports massage. Blood vessels are compressed and released, stimulating circulation.
- Improve posture – As well as enabling movement, muscles maintain posture and body position. If muscles are short or weak this is likely to cause imbalances, ultimately affecting posture. Sports massage can help to correct imbalances and lengthen opposing muscle.
- Reduction of scar tissue – Deep cross fibre strokes are used to separate fibres which may have adhered together, often as a result of a tear or strain. Techniques known as frictions are used to further break down scar tissue.
- Improve range of motion and mobility – If muscles are encouraged to relax this has an immediate impact in extending the limit of the affected joint. This is because, limiting of range of movement are either the mechanics of the joint itself, or the muscle and other soft tissue that act upon it.
- Assist in the removal of metabolic waste – As lymph flow increases as a result of massage, waste products from areas of soft tissue may be reabsorbed more quickly via the lymphatic system into the circulatory system.
Sports massage is ideal to treat common injuries, such as:
- Lower back pain
- Iliotibial band syndrome
- Calf muscle strain
- Shin splints
- Hamstring and Quadricep strain
- ‘Tennis’ elbow
- Stress Fractures.