For most people, massage is a luxury that very few people can afford. These people usually base their opinion on the costs rather than the benefits that massage can bring. Only professionals understand the full effect of such therapy and the difference it makes on their performance capacity.
Many athletes get massages multiple times a month to adjust their bodies accordingly. They understand that the therapy can help prevent injuries from too much straining and promote healing after a race or competition. For some, massage therapy is part of a training process. It helps prepare the body and promotes natural healing before and after the race. The athletes also get massages before and after competitions for quicker recovery of the body, as well as after training sessions.
What exactly is sports massage?
Contrary to popular opinion, sports massage isn’t just therapy for athletes. Different types of massage exist, and sports massage is one of them. The massage is done to manipulate soft tissues to improve the body’s performance and recovery. The main goal of this is to loosen your joints and create space around them to make them more flexible. With the massage, the body will handle the strain of an exercise better. At our physiotherapy clinic in Ajax we offer top of the line sports massage therapy for our clients. Contact now to book your appointment at (905) 239-5001.
Benefits of sports massage
According to scientific research, the benefits of sports massage are still being discovered. On the other hand, sports professionals can ascertain that this type of massage therapy has numerous benefits that improve the body. However, even scientists can agree that massage is the best relief for delayed onset muscle soreness and perceived fatigue. This is according to a meta-analysis in the Frontiers of Physiology journal.
British Journal of Sports Medicine also published another meta-analysis based on 29 studies. It indicated that sports massage doesn’t influence the body’s ability to jump or sprint, feel tired, or become stronger. The massage only improves the flexibility. With more flexibility, you will have better mobility.
In yet another study, sports massage reduced the pain intensity that athletes feel. The therapy also reduces swelling to allow the muscles to recover quickly after exercise. During a workout, your muscles can become torn, forcing an inflammation reaction. Massage will restore blood flow that reduces the swelling, and allows the muscles to heal.
Other studies have also shown that massage therapy can improve psychological well-being.
What does it feel like?
Although sports massage is like deep tissue massage, it has several techniques that the therapists may use depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
Effleurage: The massage therapist will use this technique to move blood away from a specific area. They use their palms to stroke the location in a specific motion.
Petrissage: The technique involves the use of thumbs, elbows, and knuckles. There is more compression and pressure from the kneading movement that the therapist uses. They may also squeeze the targeted location.
Friction: This is used on old injuries to help the scar tissues to heal. The therapist will ensure the pressure penetrates the tissues deeply.
Sports massage doesn’t have to be painful to be effective. On the contrary, too much pain will activate your body’s reflexes as you brace for the actions of the therapist. The more that happens, the less effective the massage will be. Complete relaxation is crucial. If you feel pain, tell the therapist immediately.
You should also remember that you’re in charge of the session. You’ll be paying the therapist, and they’ll be working on your body, so you have the right to speak up. However, you should know the difference between pain and discomfort. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable, but when pain sets in, you should inform the therapist. Make sure you know how your body responds to the two to be able to tell the difference.
Exerting more pressure also doesn’t mean that you’re getting a deep tissue massage. The therapist will know what your specific set of muscles need and the right amount of pressure to meet those needs.
Feeling sore after the sports massage is also usual and common. Don’t get frightened or try to counter the soreness with another exercise. Note the sore areas, so your therapist can pay more attention to them in your next massage session. The soreness also disappears naturally after 12 hours. For some people, it may take up to 48 hours. Don’t panic so long as you’re still within the 2-day window.
CP Health professional massage therapists will not make you uncomfortable during sports therapy. They will not propose or do anything sexual. They uphold the highest standards for massage practices and a code of ethics. They also keep up with the regulations by the relevant bodies. In case a therapist does anything to make you feel uncomfortable, report the matter to the clinic manager.
When is the right time to get a sports massage?
You should schedule a sports massage once every two weeks or at least once every six weeks, depending on the kind of strain you are exposing your body to. It may feel like you’re spending money on luxury when you book a massage, but it is one of the best ways of taking care of your body. Don’t wait until you have recurring pain before you call CP Health Ajax professionals.
As a sports person, you should get a massage before your race and after. The therapy will take care of your body to make it respond accordingly when you put effort into the race. The increased flexibility from the massage will also help you control your body movements better as you race. If it helps, consider the sports massage as an investment instead of a luxury.
Being able to afford a sports therapy massage is also an essential factor you shouldn’t ignore. Just because experts recommend that you sign up once every couple of weeks doesn’t mean that you should. Only do so if you can afford it.
Regular massage will solve your muscle problems before they become too extensive. Don’t wait until you get injured because you’ll end up paying more for the therapy.
You should also schedule mid-training sports massages to help you identify the problematic areas in your body. You’ll discover the taut places, and the massage will make them better.
While a pre-race massage is very helpful, it should not be done two days before the race. You may end up feeling sore and underperform during the race. Post-race massages are also allowed. It will help you recover quickly, especially if it is done within 48 hours. If you’re a beginner, wait at least four days before going for the massage.
If you suspect that you have been injured, see your doctor first before going for the massage. They will diagnose the injury, which will help the therapist determine the right approach to the massage.
What to know before booking a sports therapy
If you’ve never had a sports massage before, don’t start a few days to a race. Book an appointment at least two weeks prior to the event, or wait until after. Experimenting with the therapy when you don’t know how your body will react may put you at a disadvantage.
Make sure you book an appointment with a qualified therapist. Check the qualifications and the reputation before placing the call. Find out if they are trained properly and whether they have an area of specialization. CP Health will give you licensed and experienced therapists to take care of you.
On the day of the massage, eat light foods to avoid feeling uncomfortable as you lie on your belly. If possible, look for a therapist with experience in orthopedic treatment. They will know how to help you in case you start feeling chronic pain during or after the massage.
Drink a lot of fluids to keep you hydrated on the table. If you don’t, the muscles will become stiff, and the massage will be painful. You can resume your usual intake of fluids after the massage.
To relieve soreness after the massage, soak in a salt bath at the end of the day.