The benefits of sports massage

There are many therapeutic and manual muscle treatments available, that claim to aid recovery, as much as help with pain relief, or even more to improve your movement and posture. While many types of manual therapy boast such claims, deep tissues and sports massage is the only method to be supported by scientific evidence (1).

Therapist treating injured knee of athlete male patient in clinic - sport massage therapy

Aid Recovery

After exercise, lactate acid is accumulated. In that case, that’s the burning feeling you get when you exercise intensely. That burning feeling may only last a short time in the gym, or when you go for a run, but it stays in the muscles 24-72 hours after your work-out. As a result, this remaining lactate acid impedes recovery and is one of the reasons why you remain sore after a workout. Deep tissue massage has been shown to aid the removal of lactate acid and thus aid recovery (2)

Pain Relief

If you are engaging in a rigorous exercise routine, it’s not unusual to feel beaten up, stiff and tight. Often, I prescribe my clients an easy or a deload week. This is when training intensity and volume are brought down, to allow your muscles to recover fully and reap the rewards for all the good training they’ve done. That’s why there is no better time to get a sport massage, because it will aid recovery, address any tight spots, niggles & stiff muscles, only a pair of hands can get to. Once again, the evidence is in clear support of the use of sports massage for pain relief (3)

Improve Movement and Posture

Often, when someone is new to training, there are postural and movement issues that need to be addressed first. Indeed, the saying goes “if you want to build a great house, start with a strong foundation”. Correct posture and the ability for all your joints to move through their god given range of movement, is key to building these foundations. A method to address these restrictions is sports massage and manual therapy techniques. In fact, sports massage can be used as part of a comprehensive corrective exercise program (4) to get you moving  and standing tall.

To summarize, sports massage has many benefits to improve the quality of life and welling. That’s why, you should definitely give it a go !

Sources

(1)Goats, G. C. (1994). Massage–the scientific basis of an ancient art: Part 2. Physiological and therapeutic effects. British journal of sports medicine, 28(3), 153-156.

(2) Westerblad, H., Allen, D. G., & Lannergren, J. (2002). Muscle fatigue: lactic acid or inorganic phosphate the major cause?. Physiology, 17(1), 17-21.

(3) Andersen, L. L., Jay, K., Andersen, C. H., Jakobsen, M. D., Sundstrup, E., Topp, R., & Behm, D. G. (2013). Acute effects of massage or active exercise in relieving muscle soreness: randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 27(12), 3352-3359.

 (4)Ylinen, J., & Cash, M. (2011). Sports massage. Random House.

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