What is sports massage?
Sports massage is a form of targeted soft tissue therapy that uses a range of techniques to help:
- keep us moving
- relax the body
- relieve muscular tension
- break down soft tissue adhesions
- reduce pain
Who is it appropriate for sports massage?
Sports massage is great for anyone that exercises regularly, but you do not have to be sporty to have one. It is also an ideal treatment for anyone that has tight muscles.
When should you have a sports massage?
- It is often used pre event to warm muscles
- Post event to speed up recovery by assisting lymphatic drainage
- Or as part of a training programme to help improve performance
What does Sports massage do?
There are 5 key areas that sports massage can help
1. By reducing muscle soreness (DOMS)
that can occur after intense or new exercise. DOMS occurs because the a build up in lactic acid within the body during exercise. A sports massage can help to flush out after exercise.
2. By relieving pain
caused by muscle tension and stiffness. It relieves muscle tension, spasm and stiffness which all contribute to feeling pain. Pain impulses run towards the spinal cord and up to the brain. Massage can interrupt pain signals by sending other signals along the same nerves, triggering the release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. These all have a positive and relaxing effect on the body.
3. By assisting the recovery process after an injury.
When the body is injured, such as a sprain or torn muscle, scar tissue forms as part of the healing process. Sports massage helps to break down scar tissue and promote healing through increasing blood circulation. This helps because increased blood circulation will deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the tissue which in turn helps to repair the damage.
4. By increasing flexibility within the body,
which is important to everybody. It can help maintain flexibility by releasing tight muscles, increasing blood circulation and stretching tissue fibers. By maximising athletic performance. Sports massage helps the body recover after exercise, serves as injury prevention, psychologically prepares the mental state and increases muscle movement ready for exercise. Receiving a sports massage helps people’s participation in sport by allowing exercisers to train more frequently therefore achieving higher levels of performance.
5. By helping prevent injury.
We know that exercise and physical work can build tension in the muscles which lead to stresses on the joints and soft tissues. Sports massage can help alleviate this muscle tension as well as restore balance and maintain good function which ensures we can continue with our day to day lives and training.
What is cupping in sports massage?
Cupping is a massage technique (within sports massage) used in which local suction is created on the skin using plastic cups. Cupping increases blood circulation and is effective to release tight muscles, fascia and reduce high tone. It is an effective massage technique to treat a range of conditions.
How does cupping work?
- Cupping is a vacuum type massage technique. By placing suction cups on the body it creates a partial vacuum to reduce tension on the skin and the underlying tissues.
- Through creating suction and vacuum pressure, it can loosen adhesions, soften tight muscles and tone and lift up restrictive connective tissues.
- It brings hydration and blood flow to the body’s tissues.
- It can be used to move deep inflammation to the skin surface for release and drain excess fluid and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways.
- Cupping can be used over any region of the body as long as there is a seal between the skin and cup, therefore cupping is more suited to larger areas of muscles.
When is cupping used?
Cupping can be used to help on many circumstances. These circumstances include:
- Post Event
- Tight muscles
- High muscle tone
Cupping can be used after any form of exercise or post sporting events
If you are interested in a sports massage, please book a free Massage triage call where our rehab specialist Liv (Olivia) will assist you in booking the appointment. You are able to have a sports massage as part of one of our exercise rehab programmes.