Sports Massage Therapy.
There are two types of sports massage. Pre-sports massage which is performed on-site or on-field and is delivered immediately prior to an event, such as football or tennis, etc. and is always administered by a sports therapist or coach. Post-sports massage is administered immediately after the sports event by a sports therapist or coach.
Pre-sports massage warms or “wakes-up” muscles prior to exercise, sports activities, even dancing, aerobics, gym workouts and tournaments of a competitive nature. It is administered to both professional athletes and others alike. The therapist will use specific techniques to warm up the muscles and “wake-up” the muscle attachments allowing for a greater range of movement and flexibility and to prevent injury. Usually the techniques are brisk, such as friction and pettrisage and longitudinal techniques to lengthen and stretch the muscles. Pre-sports massage usually takes 10 to 20 minutes targeting all muscles being exercised.
Post-sport massage, of 30 to 90 minutes, is also essential for competitors and great for anyone who participates in any physical activity, especially field sports, contact sports, competitive sporting events, “boot” camps, gym workouts, swimming, martial arts, etc. Slower movements are performed to relax, restore, realign and lengthen the muscles back to their resting length while the muscles are still warm from the exercise and immediately after they have been exercised. With all massage movements, starting with effleurage, the pressure is gradually increased and can be very deep.
Techniques include: cross fibre, broad cross fibre, longitudinal tension, transverse gliding, MET (muscle energy techniques), post isometric relaxation, reciprocal inhibition, propriorceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), soft tissue release (STR), myofascial release and trigger point release techniques. Sports massage can be used in conjunction with Advanced Remedial Therapy and stretching techniques. The therapist can also work actively with and without the client’s participation, such as resistive movements which enhances the lengthening and working with the muscles being stretched.
Everyone should stretch immediately after any physical activity or exercise but stretching alone will only partially take out and release some of the knots. However, massage spreads the muscle fibres and flushes biproducts that accumulate from exercise and sports and repetitive strain injuries. Other conditions that can be relived are carpel tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff syndrome, tennis elbow, tendinitis, tenosynovitis, muscular spasms, cramps and strains, ligament sprains (no less than 48hrs after an injury.
Special Note: It is imperative that the client’s comfort is considered at all times.