By focusing on the muscles and tendons, the concept of sports massage was developed originally to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimum performance as well as a means to aid recovery after a game, event or heavy training session.
Whilst the likes of Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez benefit from having sports massages, you don’t have to be a professional footballer or Olympic medallist to reap the benefits of sports massage on an athlete’s body, including stimulating the blood flow and soothing aches and pains.
There are essentially four different types of sports massage, we list all four and the benefits of each sports massage:
Pre-events sports massage
As its name suggests, a pre-event sports massage involves athletes having a short 15 – 45 minute massage before a game or competition and is designed to loosen up muscles, increase blood circulation and maximise performance.
Post-event sports massage
The post-event sports massage is usually given approximately an hour after the event and helps restore an athlete’s body back to normal and aid recovery.
Restorative sports massage
Restorative sports massage aims to decrease the chances of an athlete sustaining an injury and is given during training sessions to enable athletes to train harder with less chance of becoming injured.
Rehabilitative sports massage
Rehabilitative sports massage is carried out on sportsmen and women with the purpose of alleviating the pain caused by injuries as well as returning the body back to its normal condition.
When should I get a sports massage?
One question that many athletes ponder over is when to get a sports massage or if at all, but you should always consider the benefits of sport massage. Whilst the very nature of sport means that those who play sport regularly and to a fairly intense standard are prone to having muscle aches and pains, a good indication of whether you need to see a sports massage therapist is if your pain is restricted to a specific area, for example a tender knee or pain in your shoulder, as this is likely to mean that you have picked up an injury and need some professional sports massage therapy.
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