Sports/ athletic massage: The application of massage techniques that combine sound anatomic and physiologic knowledge, an understanding of strength training and conditioning, and specific massage skills to enhance athletic performance.
Sports massage reduces the chance of injury by recognizing and removing unwanted conditions in the soft tissue that are at potential risk of injury. When an injury has occurred, massage helps restore mobility and flexibility to the injured muscle tissue while speeding the recovery process by as much as 50%. Massage can improve an athlete’s ability to perform while reducing the prevalence of lost time from injury and fatigue. It is recommended that massage should be administered 48 hours after a serious injury has occurred. Otherwise, you run the risk of making the injury worse and prolonging the healing process.
Receiving sports massage on a regular basis can extend an athlete’s career. With intense training, competition, and even everyday life, muscle strength and endurance that are pushed beyond their limits can result in:
-increased metabolic waste buildup in the tissues
-strains in the muscles or connective tissues
-inflammation and associated fibrosis
- muscle spasms and pain that restrict movement.
These four points are actually considered the negative effects of exercise.
Beneficial effects of athletic massage:
- Causes hyperemia: making more oxygen and nutrients necessary for growth and repair available to the body area being massaged.
- Stimulates venous circulation and lymph drainage
- Broadens and stretches muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Jennifer Roldan, LMP Northwest WellnessFederal Way, WA