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What is a sports massage?

This can be quite hard to define, as there are many therapists who can provide a form of “deep tissue massage” and there are varying qualifications within the industry. I’m here to describe how our therapists work and the type of sports massage we use and the benefits. Our therapists are trained to the highest level within the industry.

Sports massages often provide an array of benefits not only to athletes and those that regularly, intensely exercise but for those who suffer from work-related posture issues, recovering from injury or surgery, or suffer from long-term conditions such as arthritis.

If you are a professional athlete or you train regularly for a sport or event - they can be administered pre-exercise or pre-event, post-workout, post-event, whilst training, or for rehabilitation purposes. The body uses a huge amount of energy when exercising regularly, the muscles and soft tissues experience trauma during training and are constantly repairing themselves.

Is sports massage painful?

Firstly, sports massage isn’t about inflicting pain! During exercise, your muscles begin to form tiny tears, which help your muscles become stronger. These tears in the tissues create micro-trauma and a physiological process begins in order to repair them.

Our therapists assess each individual and the demand their training places on their body and adjust the pressure which is applied to ensure this promotes the healing process rather than impeding it. We work with your tissue tolerance using a variety of advanced sports massage techniques to ensure the tissues have the best chance of recovery in the shortest time possible.

There can be tissue damage but pain may not necessarily be present. For example, have you previously had a bruise that was painful to start and turned black and blue in colour? It then turns to green and yellow, it is noticeable but not painful to touch? The sensitivity of the tissues has reduced but they are still repairing themselves and if too much pressure or force is placed on them during a sports massage then this can further traumatise the area and cause inflammation.

Whether you run, weight train, play golf, or attend exercise classes, your body will adapt to the load and stresses that are placed through it and imbalances will form to allow you to do what you need to do in your chosen sport. If these imbalances are not addressed this can lead to injury, pain, restriction, and dysfunction. It is also not always the case that injuries are caused by your chosen sport, but could occur from your other day-to-day activities such as your profession or lifestyle.

During a sports massage, the therapist’s hands are their eyes! They are constantly palpating and assessing how the tissues respond to the depth of pressure or technique applied. If too much pressure is applied the tissues will respond by producing pain-causing restriction and preventing the therapist from moving deeper into the tissues. A sports massage reduces the adhesive quality of the tissues improving the range of movement near the joints, it allows for strategic manipulation of the body's soft tissues and focuses on the muscles used for the activity required. This may be for a chosen sport or day-to-day postural issues.

Sports massages utilise a range of movements and massage techniques. These are all used to promote quick recovery, aid the maximum performance and physical conditioning. All whilst lowering the chances of pain and injury. The diversity of techniques used within a sports massage means deep tissue is targeted, enabling the treatment of a variety of conditions that are not strictly sports-related, including:

  • Headaches

  • Back Pain

  • Repetitive Strain Injuries

  • Whiplash

  • Golfer or Tennis Elbow

  • Muscular / Joint injuries such as strains or sprains.

  • Pain-related to poor posture

The benefits of a Sports Massage

In addition to the many physical benefits of sports massage, there are many psychological benefits. Massage can improve sleep, which is extremely important for muscle repair, reduces anxiety, and can improve concentration. This is especially important to athletes or regular exercisers to help focus their attention to the job at hand and help prevent injury. Here is a list of some of the top benefits of sports massage:

  • Promotes tissue healing and recovery

  • Decreased recovery time between training

  • Decreased muscle spasms

  • Improved sense of well-being

  • Decreased muscle tension and pain

  • Increased range of motion in the joints

  • Improved blood circulation

  • Reduced fatigue and soreness

  • Improved sleep

  • Lessened stress and feelings of anxiety

What to expect after your sports massage therapy treatment

After body massages, you should expect muscle soreness and stiffness to last for a day or two, particularly if your muscles have not been massaged previously. You may feel more energised and notice a reduction in muscular tension or discomfort.

Sports and Remedial Massages are highly valued amongst athletes and active lifestyles due to their extensive range of benefits. Anyone with a common objective to subdue muscular pain and tensions while simultaneously relaxing the body will gain from a session with a trained masseur. The Back Your Body clinic is home to many highly therapists qualified Remedial Sports Massage in Sidcup; we can assure you that our knowledge and expertise mean you are always in comforting and considerate hands.

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