We’ve written generally about massage therapy and its benefits for athletes (see our entry on Sports Massage), but often times a description of the general benefits can gloss over the specific positives sports massage provides athletes of a specific sport. Today’s Blog will focus on running and how sports massage can help runners.
Sports massage therapy is generally a deep tissue massage on particular muscles and areas of the body that are exerted during athletic activity, with the massage focusing on specific muscle groups used by athletes of a given sport.
For runners, the feet are a primary area of concern, with sports massage therapists helping to ease pain in the feet and limit the effects and possibility of a fallen arch. Sports massage therapists also focus heavily on runners’ legs, with shins (splints), Achilles tendons (tendinitis), and calves (sprains and pulls) on the lower half and hamstrings (strains and pulls) and IT bands (strains) on the upper half.
The main, general benefit and effect of sports massage therapy – an increase in circulation – can help the feet and legs of runners feel fresh, preventing injuries or helping runners to cope with injuries that may have already occurred.
The increased circulation sports massage therapy provides helps remove lactic acid, which can help keep runners’ legs from feeling sore while increasing and promoting the flow of nutrients to areas that are either strained or injured. Indeed, the ABMP did a series of articles dedicated to how massage therapy can help with runners’ injuries (click here), with regular sports massage therapy helping to alleviate or prevent common running ailments.
While it’s easy to say that massage is therapeutic, or that sports massage helps athletes, it’s extremely important to remember specifically where and whom sport massage therapy can help (click here to see our entry on sports massage therapy for cyclists). Check back with us regularly to see other posts on sports massage and its benefits to specific athletes.