Sports massage should play an important part in the life of any sportsman or woman whether they are injured or not. Massage has a number of benefits both physical, physiological and psychological.
Sports massage can help maintain the body in generally better condition, prevent injuries and loss of mobility, cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue, boost performance and extend the overall life of your sporting career.
The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
Sports massage offers distinct advantages for pre-event, inter-event, post-event and rehabilitation treatment and is increasingly regarded by professional athletes and coaches as playing an essential role in enhancing athletic performance and preventing injury.