Sports massage is the use of massage for the treatment and prevention of sports injuries.
It involves the manipulation, ‘kneading’ and ‘grasping’, of the soft tissue. Soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels, and synovial membranes.
By stretching tight muscles, stimulating inactive muscles and improving the condition of the soft tissue this reduces the stress and tension that can build up during repetitive and strenuous physical activity, and promotes tissue repair and muscle balance. This form of massage can be used as part of a training programme to increase endurance, enhance athletic performance, reduce the chance of injury, and shorten recovery time needed after an injury sustained in physical activity and overtraining.
It can be tailored to address the specific needs of the athlete by focusing on the muscles relevant to the particular sport.
Sports massage is used in the following ways:
Sports massage as a warm up for an athletic event to help athletes loosen, warm and prepare their muscles, and so enhance their performance and endurance.
Post event sports massage.
Sports massage as part of the wind down after an athletic event, to relieve muscle pain and stiffness, and return the muscles back to their normal state.
Sports massage during a maintenance period or when an athlete requires injury rehabilitation.