Why Should you have a Sports Massage?
September 08, 2017 at 5:06 PM
Sports massage at Auckland Physiotherapy can be beneficial to anyone leading an active lifestyle. It is a hands-on soft tissue treatment approach, working on tendons, ligaments, muscles and fascia. Based out of our Newmarket and Greenlane clinics, sports massage can help people with tightness, muscle spasms, headaches and acute or chronic pain.
Sports massage in Newmarket and Greenlane can be part of an:
• Injury Rehabilitation program
• Maintenance/ Injury Prevention
• Sports specific pre and post event/ training
Aim of a Sports Massage
The aim of a sports massage at Auckland Physiotherapy is to reduce the “restrictions” in the tissue by using different techniques of massage including; soft tissue release, trigger point therapy, muscle energy techniques, passive stretching and myofascial therapy. Our massage therapist Tracy is skilled at finding and releasing any restricted areas to help you move freely, efficiently and more comfortably.
Why do Muscles Become Tight?
Soft tissue that has restricted blood flow and lymphatic drainage can be tight, compact and restricted in movement. This can cause pain. Trauma, demand and lack of movement can cause this reduction in blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
Manipulation of the soft tissue will increase blood flow and in turn, increase oxygen and nutrient exchange to the tissue. Increasing the lymphatic drainage removes waste products that have built up in the tissue. By releasing these areas, we can reduce pain by reducing nerve compression and relieving the tension in the soft tissue. Encouraging circulation allows energy and fluid to flow through the restricted area leading to healthier tissues.
Is it a Relaxing Massage?
When receiving a sports massage at Auckland Physiotherapy, Tracy will manipulate the soft tissues, reducing tension and pressure through stretching and mobilisation. It can be uncomfortable at times but should not cause lots of pain, and you should feel much better a day or two later!
Sports Massage can an excellent addition to an injury rehabilitation programme and can help to speed up your recovery. Receiving a sports massage when you have an injury can help by manipulating any scar tissue at the injury site, and preventing restriction in the muscles. Naturally, the muscles become tighter due to pain or scarring following an injury. Sometimes the muscle feels tight due to tension and active trigger points even though the muscle length hasn't actually changed. Therefore, it may not be beneficial to manually stretch the muscle, so massage is a great way to relieve tension and help with the healing process.
Another benefit of receiving a sports massage as part of the rehabilitation process is the treatment for possible compensatory issues that can occur due to the injury. Naturally, we like to avoid pain and tend to favour other limbs, and sometimes the body can even learn to use other muscles to perform the movements. Dealing with compensatory issues at the early stages is a great way to prevent secondary injuries in the future.
For chronic injury, sports massages can help to encourage the healing process of the tissue whilst also dealing with long-term compensatory issues.
Sports Massage is ideal for preparation leading up to an event to assist you with your training. The great thing with maintenance treatment is that it deals with niggles before they develop into something more serious or before you develop compensatory issues. For example, if you have an annoying niggle in your shin or hamstring, the next time you have a maintenance massage, your therapist can address this and work out why it is happening.
Pre-event Sports Massage
When coming near to event time, after many hours of training, people often notice their legs start to feel heavy. Pre-event sports massage is a great way to ease tension and improve circulation in preparation for the event. Tracy can treat the specific tissues that have been training hard up to the event, preparing them for the task ahead.
It is not wise to have a deep tissue sports massage leading too close to the event, therefore Tracy uses a combination of active techniques to increase blood flow, and stimulating light massage. This is due to the expected recovery after the massage and not wanting the tissue to be too relaxed. In professional sport, a pre-event sports massage could be a couple of hours before the event and the goal is to fire up the tissue, prepping them for the event.
Post-event Sports massage
Sports massage after the event either straight afterwards or a couple of days later can help with recovery. During an event, there is an increased demand of energy required for our muscles to perform and so naturally more waste products are produced and need to be cleared by the lymphatic system.
When receiving a sports massage at Auckland Physiotherapy, we tailor treatment to meet your individual needs or goals. Whether it is achieving your PB for the next half marathon, being able to improve your overhead squat, or stopping that niggling intermittent pain that you have been feeling, we will be able to help.