Sport Massage

Sports massage focuses on working with highly active clients to improve performance by preparing for an activity, maintaining fitness or improving recovery from an activity. The term sport massage is used generally to refer to several categories, pre-event, inter-competition, post-event, and rehabilitative sport massage. Pre-Event Massage Pre-event therapeutic massage is intended to focus on warming up tissues and prepare them for activities. It includes lighter, faster, more stimulating techniques targeting primary muscles needed for the sport. One thing you should note is that there currently is some debate over the efficacy of pre-event massage. Some research suggests that pre-event massage may negatively impact sport performance except for those who may suffer from excessive stress and tension. More on this is coming in future posts. Inter-competition Massage Inter-competition massage involves short, targeted massage during breaks in the event. With this type of massage work is focused on muscles used in the event. For best results this type of massage should be provided by a skilled therapist familiar with the athlete and sporting event. Post-Event/ Recovery Massage Post-event massage is used to help athletes recover from strenuous workouts or sporting events by facilitating homeostasis. Common goals to work towards with recovery massage may include reducing muscle soreness, tension, and stress. This type of massage is not meant for treatment of injuries and can take a more generalized, full-body massage approach. Remedial/ Rehabilitative Massage Rehabilitative massage is performed by massage therapist with specialized skills and training to focus on specific injuries or problems. In these situations, massage may focus specifically on an injury or other issues that may arise as a result of injury such as compensatory movement patterns. Massage therapist may work with athletes independently or as a part of an interdisciplinary team including athletic trainers, physicians, or physical therapist. Types of techniques used during sport massage:
  • Tapotement
  • Friction
  • Cross fiber friction
  • Various stretching techniques
  • Effleurage
  • Trigger point release
  • Myofascial release
Possible benefits of sport massage:
  • Increased circulation
  • Improved range of motion
  • Improved tissue mobility
  • Decreased muscle tension
  • Decreased stress
  • Reduced pain and muscle soreness

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