Recovery and prevention with sports massage
What is a sports massage?
Sports massage is a form of deep tissue massage, typically used to target specific muscle groups to reduce pain or tightness. It can relax muscles, break down scar tissue and adhesions, and iron out muscle knots and trigger points.
Although it can be uncomfortable at the time, the results are felt afterward with muscles feeling very relaxed and far less tight/painful. Which is a sentiment summed up well by a recent review (at the time of writing this)
Fabulous as always. Painful at the time but Garth certaily gets to the root of the problem.
How does it work?
Sports Massage works by heating up and relaxing the muscles, as well as increasing blood flow to them. Once heated, massage increase the space within and between the muscles, amplifying the effects of the increased blood flow. This optimises the blood flow to the muscles and in turn optimises the recovery from exercise too.
A sports massage directly after exercise has benefits seen for up to a week later. Reduced muscle damage (up to 2 days after the bout of exercise) and less inflammation reduces the length of recovery time and hence optimises the whole recovery process.
What is it used for?
Sports massage is used by people who exercise regularly to help recovery and reduce the chance of an overuse injury. Having one regularly keeps muscles relaxed and increases recovery between sessions. Fatigued muscles are more prone to injury, so having better recovery not only improves performance but also reduces the risk of injury.
People with conditions such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis also benefit through reduced muscle tightness and fewer aches and pains. Equally surgeries like discectomies or spinal fusions can have lingering stiffness and tightness. These side effects benefit massively from relaxing the muscles near the affected area. Protective muscle spasms are one possible cause of pain, tightness and stiffness. Relaxing the spasm with massage can alleviate the pain quickly.
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