(or why and when to consider sports massage)
Whilst it is common to see elite athletes receiving sports massage pre- and post- event, it is often something that is overlooked by amateur athletes, even those with extensive experience and ability, and almost always ignored by those who simply participate in sport for enjoyment and fitness. At Tailored Integrated Training, we firmly believe that all athletes should take the 'professional approach' to their recovery, and offer sports massage as a stand-alone product as well as part of our integrated packages.
Let's look at what sports massage can offer...
What is Sports Massage and how does it benefit the athlete?
During a sports massage the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) are manipulated using hands-on techniques in order to improve their efficiency. Sports massage techniques are proven to release and reduce tension in tissues, improve circulation and encourage the removal of waste products. In addition to the physical benefits, pre-event sports massage can also help an athlete to mentally prepare for their activity or competition. Following exercise, sports massage also helps to relax the body which can help to prevent injury. Sports massage can be of particular benefit to those who are prone to overuse injuries, as the muscles are encouraged to relax and recover fully before the next exercise session.
Who Can Benefit From Sports Massage?
Anyone and everyone! Whether you are a seasoned competitor looking to improve your performance and achieve a PB, new to sports and want to relax your aching muscles, are returning from an injury and keen to get going again or simply want to prevent injury following gentle regular exercise, a sports massage could benefit you.
When should I have a sports massage?
Sports massage can be effective during preparation, training, competition and recovery, though the emphasis of the massage will vary for each stage and your therapist should discuss this with you prior to undertaking the massage... we will not, for example, use deep tissue friction techniques immediately prior to a competitive event as the tissues normally take a few days to recover from such treatment.
Routine maintenance massage: A regular massage treatment programme can be devised by a therapist based on the individual’s requirements for their sport and level of participation. It can concentrate on particular muscle groups to help to maintain or improve the range of movement and flexibility and can target any areas which are likely to cause the individual trouble or injuries to assist in their prevention.
Massage for a specific event or competition: Massage before and after an event are used for specific purposes. Pre-event massage can be used alongside a participant’s warm-up to boost circulation and reduce muscle tension, whilst also assisting with mental preparation. Massage after an event can be used to enhance the body’s recovery process through reducing muscle spasms and metabolic build-up. Effective pre- and post- event massage can allow a participant to return more quickly to training and competition and reduce the risk of injury
Rehabilitation: In the return to a sport following injury, sports massage can aid in the rehabilitation process, it can speed healing and reduce discomfort. The techniques used in sports massage can be effective for both acute and chronic injuries.
I'm Injured!!! Should I visit a medical professional or have a Sports Massage?
Sports massage is an excellent therapy to iron out the odd niggles, help encourage a fast recovery and assist in injury prevention. However if you have sustained an acute injury (and you should be able to tell by the nature of the symptoms whether this is the case... they are normally quick in onset and quite painful immediately, whereas niggles tend to build up over time and get progressively more uncomfortable if left untreated), we would advise getting it medically assessed prior to visiting a massage therapist.
We offer a bespoke service of sports massage based on the client's needs - everything from a one-off massage to a regular monthly slot as part of a package of tailored training. Please speak to us if you would like to discuss your needs.