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. Borrowing techniques from Swedish massage a sports massage can relax muscles, break down scar tissue and adhesion and iron out muscle knots and trigger points.
Although it can be uncomfortable at the time, the results are felt afterward with muscles feeling of very relaxed and far less tight/painful.
How does sports massage work?
Sports Massage works by heating up and relaxing the muscles, as well as increasing blood flow to them. Once heated, manual manipulation of muscles increase the space within, and between them 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.
The effect of a sports massage directly after exercise can be seen for up to a week after. Reduced muscle damage (up to 2 days after the bout of exercise) and less inflammation reduces the length of recovery time and hence optimise 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, as fatigued muscles are more prone to injury. Having better recovery not only improves performance but also reduces the risk of injury.
It is also beneficial to people with conditions such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis to relieve muscle tightness and related aches and pains. Even people who have ongoing problems from previous surgery such as discectomies or spinal fusions see benefit from relaxing the muscles near the affected area. Often protective muscle spasms can be the cause of some pain which can easily be relaxed.
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