Massage can be a valuable tool for athletes to support recovery and athletic performance. It can optimize your recovery in between training sessions and competitions so that you can perform at your best.
What Is the Role of Massage in Sports?
Massage Therapy can be a valuable tool for athletes to support recovery and athletic performance. We do this by targeting the specific muscles and joints that are important for your sport. Using specific massage techniques, we are able to support your recovery by restoring the flexibility you need to perform your sport at your best.
Another benefit of sports massage is that it may ease or prevent muscle soreness that is often felt following training, commonly called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This will optimize your recovery in between training sessions and competitions so that you can perform at your best.
What Is the Best Massage for Athletes?
Sports massage is the best option for athletes looking to support recovery and restore muscle flexibility. This is because, in a sports massage, your therapist will push your body towards its limits to encourage movement.
Is Sports Massage the Same As Regular Massage?
There are a few aspects that differentiate a sports massage from a regular massage. First, the goal of a sports massage is to target movement and support recovery. A regular massage typically targets relaxation. To achieve the goals of sports massage, additional techniques are used in comparison to a regular massage.
These techniques include passive stretching, muscle energy techniques, myofascial release, and deep tissue massage. A regular massage will cover broad muscle groups, while a sports massage will target specific groups of muscles and tease out individual muscles important for your sport.
For example, a runner may notice tightness in the back of their legs. More specifically, the biceps femoris, a hamstring muscle running from your sit bones to your knee, is an important muscle in running. Another muscle important in running is your calf muscles, specifically your soleus muscle.
These muscles may be some of the specific muscles targeted in a sports massage for a runner. Finally, a sports massage is designed to treat individuals who play a sport, while a regular massage is for any individual.
How Long Does a Sports Massage Take?
This will depend on a few factors. These include the number of body part(s) that need work, how your body responds to the massage, and how much time you have on your hands. This may range from a 30-minute to a 90-minute massage.
How Do I Know if I Need a Sports Massage?
Reflect on your goals and expectations of massage therapy. If you are looking for a more intense massage that targets the flexibility needed for your sport, then a sports massage would be a good option.
If you struggle with tightness or DOMs after training or want to optimize your recovery, then sports massage may be a good option for you. If you do not play any sports and are looking for a relaxation massage, then a sports massage may not be a good option for you.
Are you looking for ways to improve your recovery rate after games? Competition season coming up? Book an assessment with Strive Physiotherapy & Performance today to make sure you will be performing at your best with an improved quality of life.
Our multidisciplinary team can also help you with a wide range of common conditions including but not limited to chronic pain, joint pain, sports injuries, impaired range of motion, and neck pain.