An Overview of Sports Massage Therapy Techniques
Sports massage therapy techniques are designed to relieve tension and swelling in the soft tissues, promote muscle flexibility, and reduce the risk of athletic injury. Sports massage is commonly used to care for athletes before, during, and after athletic events. It can assist with the warm up of athletes to potentially prevent injury during the activity.
But this kind of massage therapy may be advantageous to anyone, not just high level athletes. Amateur athletes along with weekend warriors may assistance, and the assistance spans from adolescents all the way into the elderly.
A sports massage therapy session begins with a fleeting consultation during which the massage therapist discusses the patient’s history and concerns and creates a program tailored to the patient’s needs. The massage is designed to address soft tissue problems increasing circulation and improving function. During the session, the work being done may be slightly painful to the patient at times especially if a myfoscial release technique is included along with less forceful techniques.
Because different sports work different muscle groups, the massage therapist will adjust the massage according to the particular sport being played. During the sports massage, the patient is comfortably located on the padded table and the sports massage therapist will use a variety of techniques to focus on specific muscle groups.
The massage typically starts with rhythmic stroking movements to relax the patient and allows the massage therapist to clarify tense and tender areas, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In addition to these, the massage therapist works on the fascia, which is the anatomic covering of the muscle itself. Working on that vicinity may allow for pain reduction and improved function.
As the massage continues, the sports massage therapist focuses on deeper tissues and uses a kneading motion to stretch the muscles and stimulate circulation. Finally, the therapist may use forceful grasping and stretching motions which may separate and break down unhealthy tissues within the body.
The therapist may also use techniques such as ice or heat to stimulate injured tissues, promote relaxation, lengthen contracted muscles, reduce scar tissue, and alleviate cause points caused by tension within the fascia.
Sports massage therapy is a safe noninvasive form of care that can help athletes reduce the risk of injury, speed recovery and healing from injury, and optimize health. Acute and chronic conditions may assistance significantly from sports massage. A continuing care plan may be recommended to ensure longer lasting benefits.