Sport massage uses specific techniques on an athlete of any kind with the particulars detailed to the athlete’s sport. It concentrates on parts of the body that are overworked and strained from recurrent and often vigorous movements. This enhances the athlete’s preparation for, or recovery from, training or competition.
Sport massage can increase flexibility, lessen fatigue, improve endurance, decrease swelling, boost the circulatory system, improve athlete’s performance, reduce risk of injuries and prepare the body and mind.
A sport massage is beneficial for common injuries such as muscle strains, tendon sprains, ligament sprains, increased muscle tension after workouts, partial muscle ruptures, dislocation, frozen shoulder, knee, ankle, hip, shoulder, wrist, neck, cramps, nerve pain, spasms, etc.
There are 6 stages of sport massages. Each stage has specific timing, duration, benefits, expected outcomes and techniques. These stages are:
- Pre-Event: A pre-event massage is quick and stimulating before the sport event. It is focused on the parts of the body that will be utilized. It Is intended to warm the muscles up as well as increase blood flow. This is done to prevent injury and boost performance. The massage will also help in reducing anxiety, raise alertness and amplify confidence.
- Inter-Competition: Inter-Competition massage is given between workouts or competition when the athlete is going to perform again the same day. It is used to prepare the athlete to get back to the game. This is also done to assist in reducing muscle soreness, tightness, fatigue, and any injuries that may have occurred.
- Post-Event: A post-event massage is gentle and more relaxing. It is used to support the athlete and assist in cool down right after the event. It is performed to regulate the body’s tissues within a couple of hours after the event and to identify any potential injuries. It reduces inflamed muscle soreness, cramping and tightness. It is used to also enhance venous return and promote lymphatic drainage. In addition, to shorten the recuperation period that athletes need post-games or competitions.
- Recovery Massage: Recovery massage is performed at least a day after the event. The intent of recovery sport massage is to diminish soreness, promote lymphatic drainage, restore blood flow, improve range of motion, and re-establish balance and a sense of well-being. throughout training to lessen the amount of injury allowing the athlete to exercise harder. This is used to maintain performance and focus on trigger points and specific areas of stress.
- Maintenance Massage: Maintenance massage is performed when the athlete is not training a lot. This massage can be deep and aggressive. It is used to attend to any chronic injuries, release stress patterns, increase flexibility, increase strength, and strengthen pathways of the nervous system.
- Injury Management: Injury management is designed to return the body to maximum health and to alleviate pain due to injury. It includes treating the stages of injury that are acute or chronic, conditions that are pre- or post-operative, and rehabilitation. It is used to decrease swelling in tissue, reduce muscle spasms in tissue, restore proper neuromuscular patterns, restore flexibility, and increase strength and endurance.