Sports Massage is for everyone at Sports Physio UK
Sports Massage is beneficial to anyone and it does not matter if you are highly active, or do not partake in any sport.. It is often advertised to be a service available to just athletes and this is something we at Sports Physio UK want to change.
What is sports massage?
Sports massage is a treatment using different techniques applied in a rhythmic, deep and manipulative fashion. It can be used to prepare athletes prior to an event or to reduce the effects of Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) following an event. BUT sports massage can also be used on a weekly or monthly basis to help with muscular health, pain reduction, tension within muscles and increase the range of movement around a joint.
Who will benefit from Sports Massage?
As an office worker, (Click here to read the Desk Based Worker Blog) you many suffer from regular tension type headaches or pain in your neck, shoulders or back. Sports massage can benefit you just as much as an athlete. If you sit at a desk for 8 hours per day with very little breaks, you can experience the same type of strains on the body as an athlete training over one hour. Gradually, this then builds up and an increase in muscle tension increases the active trigger points (Click here to read the Trigger Point Therapy Blog) in the body and the presence of scar tissue.
Pamper or prevent injuries
Sports Massage is not completed to just relax the body as such and it is not a pamper session, the techniques used are designed to aid the recovery and prevent injuries or stressors. Many people do report feeling a little sore and tired following treatment, so we would advise not doing any sport following treatment and ensure you keep well hydrated.
Main Benefits for Sports Massage
Pumping – The stroking or skimming technique (Effleurage) in massage pushes fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. Increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind to help also pull blood and fluid. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
Increased tissue permeability – Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
Break down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
Opens micro-circulation – Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins. (Understand more about pain here…)
Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation. We have a number of Relax and Breath Classes in Clinic which helps massivly with the relaxation along side the massage techniques.
Anxiety reduction – through the effects mentioned above relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels. Lower anxiety levels will aid recovery and give a better chemical balance in the body. We have a Mental Health Nurse within Sports Physio UK, (Lucy Livesey), who works closely with patients following injuries to aid the recovery. (have a look at her work here)
Invigorating – if massage is done with brisk movements such as what would be done before an event then this can produce an invigorating feeling.
If you are always tied to a desk, or generally push your body physically, then a regular appointment with a Sports Therapist
will be a great idea to ensure you can continue. (BOOK HERE) How long between treatments is not a defined rule, always have a chat with your therapist and discuss the best treatment plan suited for you, but do not leave it too long. Your Sports Physio UK Therapist may miss you!
What to wear for Sports Massage at Sports Phsyio UK
During Treatment you may be required to remove parts of clothing to ensure the best treatment possible for you.
Generally attending a session in shorts and T-shirt would suffice. You may be requested to lay on your front in a bra, but remember, this is not anything new to the Team and discretion is used always with Practitioners leaving the room after discussing how they wish to treat you. Never will a patient be left to feel uncomfortable and communication is key at all levels.