Can Sports massage reduce the risk of injury?
A regular sports massage can help flexibility which in turn can lower the risk of getting injured.
When you run you continually contract your muscles over a long period of time. The bigger the contractions the more force that is generated and recruit more muscle fibers. These contractions make is run faster and for longer. However when tired the muscles become shorter leading to a smaller range of movement and lower circulation to muscle fibers. A regular sports massage helps to lengthen the muscles, help muscle soreness and improve circulation to the muscles.
Sports massage can provide some physiological responses such as better blood circulation, a reduction in blood pressure and wider diameter of blood vessels. For runners these benefits can help to reduce recovery times, improve times and prevent injuries. A Sports Massage affects the deep tissues of the muscle fibers, often it is recommended that the athlete does not train for 24 hours afterwards, however regular massages can reduce this timescale.
More Massage benefits include:
1. Dilates blood vessels which promotes circulation and lowers blood pressure
2. Assists venous blood flow
3. Promotes rapid removal of metabolic waste products
4. Improves the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cell
5. Improves pulmonary function by loosening tight respiratory muscles
6. Reduces muscle soreness and fatigue
7. Increases/restores joint range of motion
8. Reduces cortisol levels and nor-epinephrine and epinephrine levels
9. Restores posture and gait
10. Improves connective tissue healing
A one off massage will not have the same effect as a regular massage appointment. Not only will the therapist get to know the body being worked, but a regular massage should be viewed as a preventative program.
Massage plans are personal and individual, they should match your training goals, whether running or other sports. Previous injuries and illnesses should be taken into account as these will affect treatment plans put into place.
If you are marathon training it would be worthwhile scheduling your massages for a couple of days after your long run, with pre-race massages 3-5 days before and post-race massages 2-4 days afterwards once some of the soreness has reduced.
A Sports Massage should be viewed as a reward for all your training, book by hitting the button below.