Sports massage has physical, physiological and psychological benefits to enhance your performance, improve your recovery and keep you at the level you want to be at for longer. Some of the benefits of sports massage are explained below:-
– Improved speed of recovery – The movements in sports massage increase the pressure in front of the stroke, this creates a vacuum behind the sports massage stroke. 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.
– Improve flexibility – Sports massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Sports 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.
– Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Sports massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the body’s own endorphins.
– Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.
– Anxiety reduction – through the effects mentioned above relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels.
Can sports massage be painful?
Well the simple answer is, it can be. However it should really only be uncomfortable in some areas and our physiotherapists or sports massage therapist will adapt to your tolerance level to ensure you get the most amount of benefit from your session.
If it benefits me how frequently should I get one?
Well, again this depends on your starting point and your aims. If your training intensity is high, we would suggest at least 1 per 7-14 days, if your moderate intensity or accustomed to your level of training a sports massage every 3-4 weeks should be sufficient from a maintenance perspective. However this should be complemented with a flexibility programme, recovery sessions, good hydration and sleep patterns. It is also encouraged that athletes use a foam roller regularly to maintain the benefits. Hydration and stretching immediately post massage can also assist the client in maximising the benefits received form the massage. Our physiotherapists will go through all this with you.
“Sports Massage has become an integral part of my golf training. It has allowed me to feel good before playing golf and even after golf. I feel more relaxed, flexible, pain free and stronger as tight muscles are now fully restored. Sarah takes real pride in her treatments and gets to the root of the problems. I did expect my lower back to be an issue however soon realised that a lot of my pain was coming from my gluts and hamstrings. I would recommend Sarah to anyone with a problem that they wish to resolve. If you need a sports massage, Sarah McMinn is the person to visit at Optimal Physio, she is professional, conscientious, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, thorough, and efficient. Money well spent!”