It is common to see professional athletes receiving massages on the sidelines. Professional sports teams have long since realized the important role that sports massage plays in enhancing performance, reducing injury and aiding rehabilitation. However, this type of massage isn’t only for top athletes—it can benefit anyone engaging in physical activity. Whether you are a dedicated sports enthusiast or a weekend warrior, sports massage can help you to achieve your fitness goals and keep you safer from serious injury.
Sports massage is generally defined as a deep tissue massage on the particular muscles that are exerted during performance of a specific athletic activity. Some sports will have a greater impact on the legs, others on the arms, back, shoulders, elbows and wrists. The goal of sports massage is to prevent or reduce injury. This is achieved by improving the range of motion and flexibility of the areas treated, thus reducing the chance of serious injury, such as muscle tearing. Sports massage is also useful to enhance or maintain athletic performance because the increased blood flow to the treated area enables better nutrition of those joints and muscles. The boost in tissue permeability permits the effective removal of lactic acid, which permits the muscle to take in more oxygen and nutrients, thereby rebounding faster. Those who have already sustained an injury use sports massage to aid in healing and reduce discomfort.
But what if you don’t consider yourself an athlete? Sports massage will benefit anyone who engages in any kind of physical activity. In fact, recent reports have shown a marked increase in the number of sports injuries among those aged 45 to 65. Perhaps your job demands regular physical labor, or you’ve been doing a project around your house or property. The improved range of motion and flexibility that sports massage provides can help you to perform physical tasks with greater ease and security.