More about Sports Massage
The prime purpose of sports massage is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to over exertion and / or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. It can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether one is an athlete, ardent keep-fitter or once a week jogger.
The importance of sports massage has been increasingly recognized over the past 10 years. During the 2012 Olympics, sports massage accounted for 35% of treatment provided to athlestes, second only to physiotherapy.
The treatment is not just for the sports person: anyone can benefit from sports massage, including people in physically demanding jobs or desk jobs where back ache and carpal tunnel syndrome can become issues (occupational, emotional and postural stress may produce many similar characteristics to sports injuries).
Many issues that come about for people are occupational. Many jobs involve large periods of time sedentary and desk orientated, which brings a lot of postural problems and changes. 8 hours spent seated at a desk followed by an hours exercise can put a huge stress on the body. This becomes even more important as age increases; mobility reduces, muscle mass reduces and recovery naturally slows down the older we get. Anecdotal evidence suggests that sports massage can be a huge benefit to alleviating these factors.
Sports massage is not only relevant to people with injuries, it is also serves an important role in injury prevention. As training levels are increased the body is subjected to increasing stress; this can cause imbalances in the soft tissue. Soft tissue includes muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments, nerves and the general circulation system.
If ignored they can go on to cause impaired rate of improvement to performance and the risk of injury. This is because a person is likely to compensate to overcome a pain or stiffness in one area of the body which will then put increased stress and tension on another area of the body. Increased tension in a muscle leads to stresses on joints, ligaments, tendons and the muscles themselves. Sports massage is mostly deeper and more intense than a relaxation massage; it acts to relax and lengthen muscles that are tight and also remove toxins and enhance the healthy circulation of blood and lymph around the body.
Sports massage helps avoid this happening by releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the musculo-skeletal system. Regular treatments will help athletes prevent overuse injuries.
There are 3 areas where sports massage is generally used:
Maintenance massage – a regular massage treatment programme where I use my understanding of anatomy and of the muscles used in a clients sport or activity which are likely candidates for trouble. By concentrating on particular muscle groups I can help a client maintain or improve range of motion and muscle flexibility. Regular massage enhances revoery and eliminates build up of muscular tension and scar tissues.
Event massage – pre event massages are used to supplement an athletes warm up to enhance circulation and reduce excess muscle and mental tension prior to competition. Post event massages are geared towards reducing muscle spasms and metabolic build up that occur with rigorous exercise. Techniques used enhance the body’s own recovery process improving the athletes ability to return to training and competition and reducing the risk of injury.
Rehabilitation - sports massage can speed healing and reduce discomfort during the rehabilitation process of both acute and chronic injuries. Trigger point techniques reduce the spasm and pain that occur in both the injured and 'compensation' muscles. Cross fibre techniques can help with the healing by improved formation of strong and flexible repair tissue, which is vital in managing full pain-free motion.
I am able to provide sports massage at your home in the Haslemere, Petworth and Midhurst area.