Sports massage was originally developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training.
Sports massage emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.
But you don’t have to be and athelete to benefit from sports massage.
Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion.
A sports massage is a good choice if you have a specific problem — with some of the most common being a tender knee from running, back stiffness or pain, shoulder trouble.
It can also be a good idea to see a movement therapist, who can help you identify and correct the movement pattern that might be causing your injury in the first place.
Sports massage is a type of massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles) and increase range of motion.
- Pre-event sports massage — short, stimulating massage 15 – 45 minutes before event. Directed toward the parts of the body to be involved in the exertion.
- Post-event sports massage — given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
- Restorative sports massage — given during training to allow the athelete to train harder and with less injury.
- Rehabilitative sports massage — aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.