Sports massage is a form of massage that manipulates soft tissue to benefit people who engage in regular physical activity. Soft tissue includes skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (a type of connective tissue that lines and covers other soft tissues). Sports massage is designed to correct problems and imbalances in soft tissue that can be caused by repetitive and strenuous physical activity and trauma. Applying sports massage before and after exercise may improve performance, aid recovery and prevent injury.
Sports massage often involves a fast-paced massage, stretching and other approaches, depending upon the sport in which you participate or where your pain is (remember though, you don’t have to be a regular sports athlete to have a sports massage). It can be tailored to be used as a pre-workout stretch and opportunity to warm up the muscles or used as a post-workout massage designed to reduce soreness and increase flexibility. Whilst massage is frequently used to relax muscles, it can also be used as a pre-curser to manipulative treatments of the joints in the spine or the periphery.
Quite simply a session includes direct compression to the soft tissue, picking up and squeezing the skin and muscle, rubbing, compression, and cross-fibre friction to the problem area.
Sports massage is a great way to release tension in muscles, improve circulation and encourage the removal of waste products such as lactic acid. This can help reduce the chance of muscle injury and promote recovery. Athletes who are prone to overuse injuries often benefit from sports massage in between training sessions, as it allows the muscles to relax and recover fully before the next session. In addition to the physical benefits, sports massage can also help an athlete to mentally prepare for their activity or competition.
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