Playing sports can push one’s body to its limit. If you are an athlete, any pains and aches in your muscles can negatively affect your performance. That is where a good sports massage can be incredibly beneficial and improve your condition.
A sports massage can do wonders for your muscles, especially after a stressful or tiring day. This type of massage is specially designed to address an athlete’s needs. If you are interested in experiencing the benefits for yourself, here is everything you need about this type of massage.
What Is a Sports Massage?
Only registered massage therapists (RMTs) can perform a sports massage. It is a massage tailored to address injuries or aches caused by playing sports. It can also prevent potential injuries by improving one’s flexibility or athletic performance.
Unlike usual massage techniques that are calming, this type of massage is a bit more intense. The strokes are faster to encourage muscle release. Expect to feel some stretching of tight muscles, stimulation of inactive muscles, and other pressure point therapy and compression techniques.
If you try this massage, it can give your body the following benefits:
- Reduced pain or inflammation
- Relief in tight muscles
- Promotion of restful sleep
- Improved athletic performance with an increased range of motion and flexibility
- Improved immune system and blood circulation
- Better concentration
- Reduced stress, anxiety, and tension
- Injury prevention and faster healing
The recommended frequency for your sports massage depends on your preference. You can consult with your therapist so that they can design a treatment based on your body’s needs.
Sports Massage vs. Other Massages
Therapists who provide sports massages target specific muscle groups according to an athlete’s sport. Unlike regular massage therapists, RMTs have to go through specialized training to help their clients.
Sports massage can be categorized into four categories:
- Maintenance sports massage
- Event sports massage
- Pre-event sports massage
- Training sports massage
- Post-event sports massage
- Rehabilitative sports massage
Before and After a Sports Massage: What to Do
Treatment differs per clinic and massage type, but here are the usual things you should do and expect before and after a sports massage appointment:
- Before Your Appointment
- Make sure to drink water or keep yourself hydrated. If you lack water in your body, your muscles will become stiff, resulting in a painful massage.
- Do not overeat before your appointment, or the whole treatment will feel uncomfortable.
- After Your Appointment
- Expect your therapist to teach you some exercises and techniques you can do at home to continue your progress. Make sure to follow their recommendations for improved physical health.
- Your body will feel sore for up to two days after the massage. This condition is normal. However, if weeks go by and yet you still feel weak areas in your body, communicate the problem with your massage therapist right away.
A sports massage is a safe and effective way for athletes to prevent and treat injuries. Sports massage, although designed for athletes, is not exclusive to marathoners or Olympic athletes. If you love engaging in physical activities, yet you feel sore in between sessions or believe that your muscles recover slowly, a sports massage might just be the solution you need.
Are you looking for a sports massage in Edmonton? Soul 2 Sole is a massage studio that offers a wide variety of treatments, including traditional Thai massage, hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, prenatal massage, and more. Contact us today to book your appointment.