Massage therapy is a $16+ billion industry. Revenue will keep rising beyond 2023 by 4% a year. And there’s a reason for that. Sports massage is quickly becoming a part of people’s health and wellness routines.
What Is a Sports Massage?
The definition is deep tissue massage that can help athletes perform at their best. A therapist conducts this type of massage.
It helps athletes recover from intense training, competitions, etc. But sports therapy is not just for professional athletes. People who work out at the gym regularly (and not so regularly) can benefit from sports therapy.
Individuals participating in recreational sports, boot camps, and fun runs can enjoy the benefits of sports massages. So can bodybuilders, cyclists, and triathletes.
Some people need therapy because of soreness due to activity. Maybe you spent all day gardening and feel sore. Or perhaps you went for a hike for the first time in years and are in pain.
Anyone who has pulled a muscle and feels soreness or stiffness can benefit from this massage.
Sports therapy can help athletes both before and after an event. Before an event, specific therapy techniques activate weak muscles and ensure that muscles are firing correctly. Massage also improves flexibility.
Then, athletes can perform better during the event.
Athletes perform a lot of repetitive motions like swinging a baseball bat or doing the breaststroke. Repetitiveness can limit their range of motion and cause pain and discomfort.
A recent study found that massage therapy significantly improved the shoulder range of motion.
Sports massage also aids in recovery after events and intense training. It helps the body eliminate lactic acid buildup and reduces muscle soreness.
A sports massage therapist can also help people recover from an injury. There are specific techniques that aid in muscle repair and strains.
And let’s not forget the benefit of relaxation! Setting aside an hour to relax and be still can substantially impact athletes at any stage of their training.
For non-athletes, a sports massage can relieve pain and reduce muscle tension and fatigue. It also promotes better blood flow and muscle flexibility. And it will also deactivate any muscle trigger points.
Massage Therapy can benefit athletes and non-athletes alike.
Sports Massage Versus Other Types of Massages
The common question is, what makes a sports massage different from all the other massages?
The main difference is that the aim is not relaxation. Though that is a byproduct of the massage, it is to fix a specific issue: recovery or improved performance.
During a sports massage, you might feel some discomfort. That’s because your therapist will find your body’s tight and sore muscles and work to release them. Tell your massage therapist to ease up with the intensity if you feel intense pain.
Assessment and Communication
Also, sports massage therapy includes a clinical assessment. The therapists take time to assess your range of motion and talk to you about what you’ve experienced and what you want to achieve.
There is a lot of communication during a sports massage. Communication is not the case for a Swedish or relaxation massage. Not only will you communicate about the intensity and pressure points during treatment, but you’ll also talk about your training, history, and upcoming events.
Sports massage therapists can also combine your treatment with Kinesiology taping. This particular tape pulls the skin into a specific position.
Taping can help improve joint alignment and create more space between the muscle and the dermis. Taping relieves the pressure on sore areas and allows better lymph drainage.
The tape will typically stay on for two to five days after your massage. During that time, your body can improve its range of motion and muscle activity.
Sports Massage for Chronic Pain, Injuries, and Aches
We’ve said it already: sports massage isn’t just for athletes. If you suffer from a restricted range of motion, muscle aches, and pains, or have an injury, it can help.
Sports massage can help balance the musculoskeletal system so you can feel better in your body.
If you have osteoarthritis, this therapy can reduce knee and hip pain; it also helps with fibromyalgia, rheumatic pain, circulation, and digestion problem. It also alleviates sciatica, golfer’s elbow, and so much more!
Desks workers benefit from regular sports massage treatments. During your appointment, your therapist will guide your muscles into a more relaxed state, allowing you to undo some of the damage from extended periods of sitting.
Regular massage can help prevent chronic pain and repetitive strain injury.
Thanks for reading our newest blog. You gained some knowledge of sports massage and who can benefit from it. Now you see that you don’t have to play sports competitively to benefit from this type of therapy.