Sport Injury Massage

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What is a Sports Massage?

An Olympic runner Paavo Nurmi known as the “Flying Finn,” was one of the very early users of sports massages where he won 5 gold medals in 1924 Olympics. A sports massage is where a skilled therapist will manipulate soft tissues for the treatment and relief of muscle soreness and pain. It can improve range of motion, performance, and accelerate healing from injury. Also, can assist to correct problems and imbalances in your soft tissues that are caused by injury. There are many other benefits of massage therapy…

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This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation, this session is only to find out if physiotherapy can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

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The Ultimate Guide To Massage for Sport Injury

Benefits of Getting A Sports Massage

Increase capillarisation To Speed Up Recovery

A sports massage after injury helps increase capillarisation which increases the size of your blood vessels. This is important because the bigger the blood vessels the more blood flow it can transport to the injured area. Increased blood flow transports more nutrients and oxygen to speed up the recovery period. How a sports massage increases capillarisation is by creating friction on the skin and increasing the temperature. 

Break Up Scar Tissue

Scar tissue is a natural healing mechanism that is produced after injury. However when injury occurs the body produces too much collagen (a.k.a scar tissue) to protect and strengthen the injured area. The problem with too much collagen is it restricts your range of motion and causes pain.

 A sport injury massage can break up scar tissue, increasing your range of motion and reducing pain.

Increases Tissue Elasticity

A sports massage can increase tissue elasticity by increasing blood flow to the tissues. When you have more blood flow coming in, it increases the temperature of your muscle fibres making them losener. Increasing flexibility and movement in the joints.

Speeds Up Recovery In Two Ways

A sports massage stimulates blood flow to the injured area which as I mentioned before transports oxygen and key nutrients to accelerate healing..

Not only that it flushes out metabolic waste products from your muscles quickly like lactic acid. You see, metabolic waste products damage your tissues and a sports massage removes this waste to accelerate recovery.

Boosts immune system

Research shows that massages increase white blood cell activity which helps fight off diseases and may reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

Improve Posture

Muscles tighten and shorten when you have poor posture. Regular sport massage sessions help relax your muscles to put your body into a natural pain free posture.

How Does A Massage Help Prevent Sports Injuries?

Athletics use pro sports massage regularly to prevent injuries. How it works is it breaks down adhesions that restrict range of motion and reduce tightness that can lead to injury. You see, adhesions are small bundles of collagen fibers that can restrict how you move and makes your muscles tight. When your muscles are tight or your range of motion is restricted you’re more likely to get injured. For example, if you have a tight muscle or limited range of motion. It forces certain muscles to work extra hard or perform the job of other muscles to get the job done. Over time, this can strain the muscles making you more likely to get injured.

Misconception of the necessity for massage courtesy of Equilibrium (Read the caption)

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A Sports Massage Can Be Used In 4 Ways

Before Sports Event – happens before a competition where a therapist will use deep strokes to increase blood flow and reduce stiffness so you can perform at your best. It can help relax an athlete and stimulate the muscles for top performance.

After Event Massage – given within 4 hours after a sports competition or training. It gets rid of waste products like lactic acid that slows down recovery, relaxes the muscles, and increases circulation of nutrients. This helps prevent muscle soreness and reduces recovery time after an event.

Rehabilitative Sports Massage- speeds up recovery from injuries.  Reduces inflammation, breaks down scar tissue, normalizes range of motion. Plus decreases your chance of re-injury.

Training Sports Massage – this happens in between training sessions. It helps reduce recovery time between sessions and risk of injury.

 

One of the most common injuries when it comes to soccer courtesy of Body Science Therapy & Performance Centre (Read the caption)

What Type of Massage Is Best For Sports Injuries?

There are 3 primary types  of sports massages that are used like:

Remedial Massage

A complementary therapy that aims to treat muscles that are damaged, immobile, tense, and knotted. Remedial Massage repairs damaged areas to stimulate your body’s natural healing mechanisms. 

Your therapist will apply either a strong and deep or gentle and shallow pressure depending on your injury.

What’s interesting about this type of sport massage is it tackles the problem and the symptoms. You see, muscle problems in one area can radiate to different parts of your body. Remedial massage traces the root cause of the pain to alleviate the symptoms.

Swedish Massage

A therapeutic massage that can be either gentle or hard. A gentle swedish massage can increase blood circulation and release tension.

A harder swedish massage can break up scar tissues to increase range of motion.  There are many health benefits of a swedish massage like improved blood circulation, prevent muscle injury, reduce pain, and stimulate the lymphatic system.

Deep Tissue Massage

Treats muscle tension, tightness, pain, and increases range of motion.  A deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscles and tissues that surrounds the muscle. It’s effective at breaking down scar tissue. 

Other benefits are increased flexibility, pain relief, enhanced recovery, and decreased tension.

Not only are there different types of massage therapy but there are different massage techniques performed.

Check out this slide post about Shoulder injury courtesy of BeActive Physiotherapy and Wellness (Read the caption)

Does a Sports Massage Hurt?

Typical sports massages are not supposed to hurt. Deep massage therapy sessions can be a little uncomfortable and give some that hurts so good feeling.  If your sports massage therapist is working on an injured, sore, or tight spot you may experience some tenderness and discomfort.

What's the Difference Between a Regular Massage and Sports Massage?

The primary difference is a regular message focuses on relieving everyday stress and takes place on the surface of skin. Whereas a sports massage focuses on working the muscles fibres at a deeper level.

How Often Should You Sports Massage?

The primary difference is a regular message focuses on relieving everyday stress and takes place on the surface of skin. Whereas a sports massage focuses on working the muscles fibres at a deeper level.

Should You Massage a Sprain?

A sports massage can help a sprain by relaxing the muscles around the sprain so that they are not pulling on the sprain. If the area is severely painful you should ask your Physio or sports injury massage therapist if it would be a good idea for your specific injury.

Where Do I Find a Good Sports Massage Therapist Near Me?

Painhero makes finding a great sports therapist easy. Scroll down to search for a massage therapist near you and Painhero will show the top ones in your area.

 

Rotator cuff injuries of Equilibrium (Read the caption)

Common Sport Massage Techniques Are​

Effleurage 

It’s performed either deep or gentle on the surface.  Effleurage creates a relaxing, calming effect both physically and mentally.

Kneading

Is a technique that manipulates the tissues in different ways. For example, squeezing, moving tissues, and lifting.  By alternating between different manipulations it creates a pumping action on the capillaries and veins. Enhancing blood flow to deliver oxygen and nutrients. Plus quickly removes waste products that inhibit recovery

Wringing

Lifts the tissues away from the bone using a squeezing and releasing technique. This increases circulation to the area, removes waste products, and transports much needed nutrients and oxygen. 

Wringing can also increase tissue elasticity and extensibility. 

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s best to wait 24 hours before doing any type of strenuous activity like weight lifting or running.

You should also ask your physio or doctor if a sports massage would be a good idea. When treated in a way that promotes flow to the injured area, an Injured ligament can heal faster. Also a sports massage can break up scar tissue and realign the ligament.

Many people are sore after getting a sports massage. You see, it stimulates the muscles so you might experience muscle soreness. This is a natural response to inflammation as your body starts to heal.

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IMS treatment is one of several possible methods for relieving pain that do not rely on prescription medications and all the side effects and baggage they come with. Not to mention that most drugs can only mask pain, but rarely address root causes. Find a clinic if you are suffering from muscle tightness, soreness, or pain to improve your quality of life, today.