Massages have been used for more than 3000 years by different cultures. They are recorded as one of the earliest forms of physiotherapy. Since the beginning, many different types of massage have been developed and introduced. This article focuses on sports massages.
What is a sports massage?
Sports massages are a type of massage therapy that is used to extend the range of movement and relieve pain caused by too much physical activity. This form of massage is designed to stimulate the lymphatic fluid and blood circulation as well as to loosen the nodes in the muscles. While it was initially developed to treat athletes and their sports injuries and to prepare their bodies for peak performances, a sports massage can be beneficial for everyone. This form of massage focuses on preventing and healing injuries to tendons and muscles.
Four typical types of sports massage:
- Strengthening massage - that is given during the workout to allow athletes a harder workout with fewer injuries.
- Reconstructive massage - with the aim of relieving pain after an injury and healing the body.
- Pre-event massage - a short, stimulating massage, typically 15 to 20 minutes given before a sports event.
- Post-event massage - is given within one to two hours after a sports event to help the body return to a normal state.
Typical reasons for a sports massage
Sports massages are the right solution for people with a particular problem. These can be people suffering from tendinitis, a runner's knee or tennis elbow (these are the most common patients).
Athletes can often be given sports massages to treat or prevent delayed muscle pain. These usually begin within 12 to 24 hours after the training session and can cause pain over a period of 24 to 72 hours after the session has ended. By stimulating the lymphatic fluid and blood circulation in the body, a sports massage prevents muscle fatigue and sore muscles.
When you receive a sports massage, neurotransmitters, endorphins, are released in the brain, which are regarded as a natural painkiller of the body. These neurotransmitters also improve mood, reduce stress and increase well-being. Therefore sports massages are also suitable for people suffering from stressful everyday life or anxiety.
Of course, the kind of injuries that require a sports massage are often found in the sports field. However, they can also appear in everyday life. Maybe you had a car accident where your knee was injured. This can lead to reduced mobility and chronic pain. Or you suffer from neck and shoulder pain because you sit in front of a computer at work all day long. A qualified sports massage therapist can provide relief in this case because it is his task to concentrate on specific areas.