Aims of sports massage
In all types of massage, the therapist has specific aims in mind, and with sport massage the focus is on the individual needs of the athlete. With the ever growing number of people taking part in sport, combined with the increasing competitiveness and intensity of physical exercise, the demand for sports massage is escalating and becoming more and more acknowledged as a treatment which may aid recovery and enhance performance.
A fully qualified rehabilitator or therapist will have thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology, in particular the muscular and skeletal systems. By understanding these systems and the effects of exercise, the rehabilitator can advise how the sports massage can become integral part of the athlete’s training program.
Athletes who are looking to improve performance and increase their competitive edge do so by adopting a training schedule to enhance their skill, strength, stamina, suppleness and speed. The aim is to increase the level of training and, in doing so, subject the body to gradual and controlled overuse.
This overuse may frequently create problems and muscle imbalances. Ignored, these imbalances may become chronic and they will not only hamper the athlete’s rate of development, but also the athlete’s performance may well suffer.
The athlete may be susceptible to developing more serious and more traumatic conditions.
Benefits of Sports Massage
The physical benefits of sports massage therapy include the following:
• improved blood flow and nutrient delivery to your muscles,
• efficient clearing of harmful metabolic byproducts
• tension reduction in your fascia
• reduction of your scar tissue
• improved tissue elasticity
• improvements in your tissue’s ability to absorb nutrients
The benefits of sports massage are important for all athletes, especially those engaged in sports where physical contact and bruising are likely, such as football or rugby. Endurance athletes also are well suited candidates for sports massage as the long training hours and the nature of competitive endurance activities, such as running and cycling place considerable strain on your musculoskeletal system. Sports massage therapy helps relieve stress on your joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles.
One of the greatest benefits of sports massage is in helping prevent injury.