We know that athletes can be more susceptible to injury and sore muscles due to having too much physical activity or sometimes just getting an injury during their sporting activity. A sports massage can help with not only relieving those injuries or sore muscles but to help prevent them as well. A sports massage should be in the routine of an active athlete to help keep their body healthy.
You know when you go to the gym one day and you are sore the next day even if you did your stretches and made sure you did all of your work out correctly? Sports massage therapy can prevent or relieve delayed onset muscle soreness. According to the America College of Sports Medicine, delayed muscle soreness tends to begin to develop 12 to 24 hours after the exercise has been performed. Sports massage therapy prevents the delayed pain by encouraging blood and lymph flow throughout the body that prevents muscle fatigue.
Athletes can also gain psychological benefits from receiving a sports massage. Same as regular massage therapy, sports massage therapy can help a person to manage stress. When a person receives a massage, their body releases endorphins. Endorphins help decrease anxiety, provide pain relief, improve moods and enhance a person’s state of well-being. Not only these but also having the chance to de-stress and relax during a massage helps to take care of many clients mental anxiety they may be experiencing.
A few other benefits athletes can experience from massage are increased flexibility, increased circulation, and potentially better sleep patterns.
How often should you book a sports massage?
It really depends how often you play sports or exercise, the key is to book enough so that the massage helps to prevent injuries because it is a cumulative action. Meaning the more regularly you receive a massage, the more benefits you will receive. This is especially important for those who are active in sports and carry that stress through their body. You can usually feel the tightness in your back, legs or shoulders. Massage therapist Paul Valentine recommends once a week but says if once a week isn’t in the budget try to aim for twice a month. Remember to ask if your insurance company covers massage therapy as many give their clients a certain allowance for massage therapy a year!
Because there are many different types of sports that would focus on different parts of the body, it’s important to let your Massage Therapist know which sport you play and where you may feel some tension. As an example, a golfer may feel a regular tightness in their arms where someone that plays soccer may feel more tightness in their legs. If it is your first time receiving a massage, arrive a few minutes early to speak with your Massage Therapist about any tightness or concerns you may have and they will be happy to answer all of your questions.