Petr’s guide to Sports Massage
What is Sports Massage? by petr dobes
Sports Massage is a deeper, more specific form of massage using advanced soft tissue manipulation that helps you to improve your performance, recover from injury or for prevention of injury. But sports massage is not just for athletes, it is beneficial to anyone with musculoskeletal problems, chronic pain or a dysfunction related or caused by stress.
How can you benefit?
- improved circulation to tight and/or overworked muscles. Increased blood flow can help muscles to contract more effectively, deliver more nutrients and wash away any waste products from muscle exertion which can help to speed up recovery.
- break up scar tissue and adhesion which can restrict muscle movements
- improved range of motion
- help to reduce tension in muscles and fascia by releasing trigger points
- reduce delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS)
- improved relaxation and release feel good hormones
Types of Sports massage?
- regular treatments as part of your training programme to keep muscles supple and to stay clear of injury. Massage will be generally deeper to break down any scar tissue, adhesions, releasing trigger points and tightness within muscle or fascia. Muscles free of tension will help you to have better range of motions which may help you perform more efficiently. If training for a particular event it pays to be organised so try to book 45mins sessions every 2 weeks. For preventative measures it may help to spread them out every 4 weeks and having longer session (60 mins).
- massage is beneficial to help treat wide range of soft tissue injuries. It is good to have Sports Massage whilst seeing your physiotherapist to help aid recovery. Treatment will focus on your whole kinetic chain rather than one individual muscle due to the connectivity of fascia throughout body. These sessions can be shorter ( 30 mins ) and weekly over a period of 4 -8 weeks depending on your condition.
- it can be performed 2 – 3 days prior to your event. Pre-event massage is not as deep as your maintanence massage. The main aim is to help blood flow into your muscles and maintain flexibility.
- highly recommended to have massage after an event. It can be performed immediately after your event followed by another session 2 – 3 days later.. Massage will be light and gentle to flush any waste toxins to help speed up your recovery.
I advise you to have regular massages to keep your muscles injury and stress free. It can make a big difference to your training, performance and your well-being.
You can self massage your muscles with foam rollers, massage or spikey balls and massage sticks which can work very well for maintenance and a handy tool throughout your rehab (there is a free class “Roll and Recover” every weekend at Balance Performance) . However you may still find Sports Massage more beneficial in terms of the therapist being able to work more specifically on the target tissues, as well as giving you an overall sense of recovery and well-being that self-massage can not adequately provide.