By Marc Innes
Athletes know how beneficial sports massage therapy is for their training. Like nutrition, recovery contributes greatly to an athlete’s performance. Sports massages improve flexibility and mobility, and help prevent injury.
Despite what its name implies, sports massage therapy is beneficial for anyone. Because sports massages emphasize injury prevention and aid recovery, anyone who is physically active can experience its benefits. This can be someone who takes a CrossFit class, or a regular gym goer.
But what about non-athletes? Sports massages can also benefit sedentary individuals who find themselves stuck behind a desk for work. Sports massage therapy can address posture problems that occur due to prolonged sitting.
Unlike traditional massages, sports massage therapy targets specific muscle groups. A sports massage therapist will use a combination of massage techniques to target the affected muscle group to promote healing and recovery.
If you have yet to experience the benefits of a sports massage, here are five compelling reasons to give sports massage therapy a try.
Reason 1: It prevents injury.
One of the main reasons to get a sports massage is to prevent injuries. Even if you don’t participate in active exercise, your body can be prone to injury.
Ergonomically incorrect workstations are one of the leading causes of office injuries. A workstation that is awkwardly set up can contribute to neck and back pain. Repetitive tasks typically involved in office work can irritate tendons and result in severe physical injury.
Regular sports massages can reduce muscle fatigue brought on by these repetitive movements.
They can effectively treat soft tissue injuries such as neck and back pain. Sports massage can also address tendon overuse by breaking the scar tissue, improving blood flow and increasing elasticity.
Reason 2: It reduces stress.
Prolonged desk work contributes to psychological issues as well. Stress is more present in our daily lives, negatively affecting our mental health. Chronic stress can disrupt natural body processes.
This can increase the risk of other health problems such as depression, anxiety, and heart disease.
Because sports massage therapy can be used to trigger specific muscle groups, it can be used to relieve tension and decrease stress. A sports massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation. A relaxed mental state improves workplace productivity.
Reason 3: It increases flexibility and range of motion.
The increased sedentary lifestyle many people lead today is resulting in more people experiencing stiff and tight muscles. Increased muscle tightness limits flexibility and range of motion.
Decreased range of motion can prevent normal functions and increase the risk of muscle injury. This becomes even more problematic as we grow older since the loss of flexibility is part of the normal aging process.
Sports massage therapy is a preventative treatment for reducing restriction and increasing muscle elasticity. Sports massage modalities can manipulate muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other affected areas to initiate movement.
These modalities will have a tremendous effect on the body, increasing tissue elasticity and flexibility.
Reason 4: It provides chronic pain relief.
People who suffer from chronic pain conditions (back pain) or chronic disorders such as fibromyalgia know that there is no cure for such conditions.
While there is no cure for chronic pain, sports massage therapy can be used to alleviate pain and help chronic pain patients get back to normal functions. In conjunction with regular exercise, sports massage therapy can provide pain relief benefits.
Treatment provided by sports massage therapy decreases inflammation and reduces stress and anxiety. This is particularly helpful for specific chronic disorders like fibromyalgia or arthritis knee pain.
Reason 5: It alleviates chronic tension headaches.
Tension headaches can severely interfere with your daily life. Chronic tension headaches can limit productivity in the workplace and affect other areas of your life. Since tension headaches are a common form of head pain, treatment usually involves pharmaceutical drugs.
Sports massage therapy provides the same relief as its pharmaceutical counterpart, without the side effects. Regular sessions of sports massage therapy can relieve muscle tension and postural alignment issues. Both are contributing factors of tension headaches.
By focusing on trigger points, sports massage therapy can eliminate pain sensations associated with tension headaches. It also addresses chronic neuromuscular stimulation, a symptom of tension headaches.
Enhance your daily life with sports massage therapy
While sports massage therapy is traditionally geared towards athletes, non-athletes can also benefit. Even if you have limited physical activity, the therapeutic techniques found in sports massage therapy can address numerous physiological and psychological issues.
If the majority of your day involves long hours of sitting or standing, a professional sports massage therapist can get your body back to performing at optimal levels.
– Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS, working in a number of managerial and training roles within the Ambulance Service in London. He spent much of that time educating and coaching medical staff. Over time, he developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.