You may think of sports massage as something that elite and professional athletes need in order to keep up with their intense training programmes and to get them in tip top shape for upcoming competitions, matches or races. While sports massage is extremely beneficial in these situations, you definitely do not have to be a top athlete in order to benefit from sports massage and, despite what the name suggests, don’t even need to do any sport.
If you do any exercise at all, whether that’s going jogging to keep fit, playing football with your friends or children, or playing any sport on a casual level, you will feel the benefits of sports massage. Exercise of any form and at any level carries some risk of injury and sports massage can help to reduce this risk by keeping your muscles supple and in a good condition. If injury does occur, even if it’s only minor, sports massage will help to get you back in shape quicker by increasing blood flow to the area, which promotes recovery and helps to reduce any inflammation.
Massage also works to break down any scar tissue that has built up around the affected area. Any aches, pains and stiffness that you feel after exercise can also be reduced by massage by speeding up the removal of lactic acid from your system, increasing blood flow and therefore delivery of oxygen to your muscles and breaking down any tension or knots in your muscles.
Even if you don’t do any form of sport or exercise, our everyday movements still put stresses on our body, which can, over time, lead to long-term issues. Many office workers, for example, who spend long hours every day sitting at a desk suffer from pain and stiffness in their neck, shoulders and lower back, which can become quite serious problems if left unchecked. Regular sports massage will help to ease the strain put on these areas of your body, reducing the risk of serious problems arising.
Sports massage will help your muscles, as well as your mind, to become more relaxed and loose, allowing them to move more freely and preventing them from becoming too tight and stiff. People who drive a lot as part of their job have similar problems and can benefit from sports massage in the same way. Anyone working in a physically demanding job where movements such as lifting and carrying heavy objects are regularly required can also benefit from regular sports massage to help counteract the stress put on their knee joints, lower back and shoulders.
So, as you can see, sports massage is not just for athletes at the top of their game. Regular sports massage can help to prevent and treat injury for anyone, no matter how active they are, improve recovery time and keep you feeling healthy and relaxed.
To find out more about Sports Massage at Central Health, and to book an appointment online, please click here
Blog compiled by Christina Crooks, Sports Massage Therapist at Central Health