Perhaps the greatest benefit of a sports massage is that it consists of specific components designed to cut down on sports-related injuries. It specifically alleviates muscle tension and inflammation post-event, and provides a warm-up to loosen muscles for amateur and professional athletes pre-event.
All athletes are looking to improve their sports performance and get a leg up on their competition be they Olympic athletes, professional athletes or weekend warriors. To do this, a rigorous training schedule is implemented in order to enhance their skills, strength, endurance and speed. Unfortunately, as the level of training is increased, so is the risk of injury.
As an athlete boosts their training schedule, they almost always overuse their muscles, causing strain, tears and imbalances in the soft muscle tissues. Additionally tragic is the fact that most athletes, in their quest to improve, ignore aches and pains until they turn into serious injuries. The more a sports injury is ignored; the more susceptible it becomes to further strain and injury.
One way to encourage muscle repair after training is with sports massage. Sports massage will help release any built up tension and lactic acid in the overworked muscles so that blood and oxygen can return to the muscle and effectively promote muscle repair. Sports massage, if received as part of a sports program, can help an athlete prevent injury due to overuse.
In addition to using regular sports massage sessions as part of your sports program, it can also benefit an athlete in the following ways:
Pre-Event Massage - can help athletes prepare for a competitive event. A pre-event massage is brief and invigorating, usually lasting 15-20 minutes. It is given within an hour before the sporting event, through the clothes to warm up the muscles.
Post-Event Massage should be calming and relaxing. Its goal is to ease muscle pain (by decreasing tension), muscle soreness (by dispersing lactic acid), and to reduce inflammation. A post-event massage should last no more than 15- to 20-minutes, and it should be administered through the athletes clothes. Post-event massages encourage the return of blood and oxygen to tense areas, and they flush out metabolic waste products that have built up during strenuous muscle use.