Introduction to Sports Massage
What is sports massage?
Sports massage is the technique of kneading and
manipulating soft tissue in order to help prevent sports
injuries, treat injuries already incurred and improve
As participation in sports becomes more
popular at all ages, and performances improve from year to
year, more is demanded of the athlete. This can mean that
performances which were seen as outstanding twenty years
ago are now commonplace.
Mentally and physically,
psychologically and emotionally, athletes are pushing
themselves to deliver more and more, and they are looking
for innovative and effective ways to improve their
Regular sports massage is part of the
training programme of all top sports people and its
increased availability in clinics and health centres is now
making it accessible for everyone.
What happens during a sports massage treatment?
A sports massage therapist will usually take a medical history to
ascertain relevant information about your health past and
present, about your sport in particular and about any
injuries you may have incurred. Each treatment will be
unique to you, the patient, your sport, your state of
fitness or injury and your athletic goals.
sessions a number of adapted tests for strength, suppleness
and pain-free range of movement will be undertaken.
Treatment should be mainly 'hands on' using a combination
of massage and exercises to strengthen and release soft
tissue (muscles, fascia and tendons) and to increase range
of movement in joints. Only rarely will machinery or infra-
red be required.
Massage techniques used may include
trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy, soft tissue
release, acupressure and more. Remedial massage may be
appropriate to treat injuries. You will feel energized and
ready for action.
Pre - event massage
Sports massage is an effective way of preparing for events
and caring for the athletes after the event. Effects can be
psychological as well as physical. Pre-event massage is
used to warm and loosen up the muscular system, and sharpen
neuromuscular communication ready for action. It is also
seen as a vital part of the routine psychological
Post - event massage
After the event, massage is a popular adjunct to the
warming down exercise routine and can in some cases, where
a warm down is not possible, replace this altogether. It
has the effect of loosening and releasing muscles and
increasing localised vascular and lymphatic activity to
speed the removal of byproducts of athletic activity, e.g.
hydrogen ions (sometimes known as 'lactic acid') and the
waste products from increased cell metabolism.
after a challenging training session or after an event or a
match can help to eliminate subsequent muscle soreness,
particularly if administered 2 to 6 hours after the event.
Psychologically it acts as a 'closure' to the event and
gives the athlete valuable time to reflect. After a post -
event sports massage you will feel physically and mentally
by Anne Cruickshank, BA(Hons), Dip.LB, MGCP
This article courtesy of http://www.health-resources.co.uk.