What to expect!
Sports massage is also known as Remedial Massage or Soft Tissue Therapy…….and its not just for sporty people!
It’s not a full-body or relaxation massage, but is instead a series of pressure techniques, stretches and mobilizations, which allows the therapist to concentrate on your specific problem areas.
Sports massage was originally designed to benefit a person engaged in regular physical activity or recovering from injury. However, you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports massage
Many people find that their work or their daily activities create muscle tension and stress patterns which can lead to pain. Whether you work in a board room, a library or a construction site, anyone can develop chronic and often long-term pain. This is what I call Lifestyle Injuries!
Benefits of Sports Massage
Sports massage has been proven to be effective for releasing and reducing tension in the muscles, improving circulation, encouraging the removal of waste products such as lactic acid, stimulating or suppressing nerve activity and increasing range of motion.
All in all, sports massage can be effective for the professional athlete, recreational exerciser or anyone with an injury or general tightness
How does Sports Massage Work?
Unlike a traditional spa-style massage, a sports massage therapist will make a thorough assessment of your specific condition and will focus specialised treatments directly on the problem areas (for example, a frozen shoulder or tight ITB), to restore healthy function.
As well as treating specific injuries directly, Sports Massage improves the general health of your muscles. So, although the therapies often do give instant relief, it is normal to feel most of the positive improvements taking place over the next three to five days as your body responds to the treatment.
Its important to remember though, everyone is different, so the speed of your overall recovery depends on your individual situation. If you’ve had chronic pain for a long time, or you have an acute injury then you’ll probably want some follow up treatments to reach a full recovery. It’s a good idea to leave a week or so in between sessions if you are having a course of treatments, so you can feel the full effects of each one.
What conditions can be treated with Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a very successful in the treatment of a huge variety of muscle and joint pain. Conditions that can be treated with sports massage are…
- Chronic pain – This can either be felt as intermittent or constant discomfort in any area of the body. For many people, this type of pain is a familiar but unwelcome companion! Its not uncommon for people to experience chronic pain in more than one area (for example, lower back and opposite shoulder). It can often be brought on by performing certain repetitive tasks such as working at a computer, working on a production line, carpentry, decorating, etc.
- Acute injuries – Sprains, strains and other muscle injuries! These types of injures are often caused by trips, falls, trauma, heavy lifting or DIY…..to name but a few!
- Muscle Tension – Sports massage is great for revealing muscle tension on a deep level. In addition, sports massage can also reduce the likelihood of picking up further injuries. Muscle tension can also be caused as a result of certain other health issues (for eg fibromyalgia) that cause muscles to become shortened, tight and uncomfortable.
What does a Sports Massage Session involve?
Before we start any treatment, I will assess your condition. I will get a lot of this information by asking you questions……so be prepared! I may also do some postural assessments, walking assessments and range of movement tests. Doing these postural and ROM assessments may help me identify other issues that may be exacerbating your condition. Either way, I will explain everything as we go!
Once we begin; the treatments used will typically involve a variety of techniques such as:
- Effleuarage and Pettrissage – these are the most gentle forms of treatments and are often used to warm up the area before the deeper treatments are performed.
- Deep Friction Massage – as well as muscles; these are often used on injured tendons such as tennis elbow or plantar faciitis. It helps to breakdown scar tissue, increase blood flow to the area and stimulates nerve tissue…..amongst other benefits!
- Compressions – these help relax tight muscles and increase blood flow to the area
- Trigger Point Therapy or Neuromuscular Technique – this releases points of tension in the muscles that are often referred to a knots.
- Myofascial Release – this is very different to massaging muscles, tendons and ligaments. Rather than depth the focus is more on time. Gentle to moderate pressure is applied over a longer time period making sure each part of the restricted fascia is treated.
- Soft Tissue Release techniques & assisted stretches – these are great for helping stretch tight muscles and muscles that are sometimes difficult to stretch
- Joint mobilisations and manipulations further relieve restrictions and restore pain-free movement to the affected area.