What is Sports Massage Therapy?
24 January 2019
You don't have to be a sports person to benefit from sports massage therapy!
Sports Massage Therapy is a deep, firmer massage that helps relieve muscle tension and improve circulation within soft tissue.
A sports massage therapist uses techniques, including deep tissue work, but if appropriate, also Trigger Point Therapy, Muscle Energy Technique and mobilisation of joints. Sessions will often include a specific stretching and strengthening programme to aid recovery.
Whilst this type of massage is great for sports people, it can also greatly benefit people who suffer from occupational/RSI problems, because lack of movement can be just as damaging as over-use! A sedentary lifestyle can cause muscles to tighten, blood-flow to be reduced and create specific areas of tension such as the neck and shoulders.
Runners and over-use injuries
Prevention is always better than cure.
The most common of all sports injuries is the over-use injury and for runners this would commonly include shin splints, runners knee, hamstring muscle and Achilles tendon strains and plantar fasciitis. These typically develop slowly over a period of days, weeks or months. If a sports person takes action only when the pain and stiffness associated with over-use injury results in poor performance, inability to continue training or compete, then rest is the most likely first step to recovery. Early action with good management that includes regular Sports Massage Therapy would more likely result in prevention, with no interruption to your training schedule or competition. It is difficult to know when to act, so find a sports physiotherapist or massage therapist you like and trust and follow their advice.
Marathon Training and Sports Massage Therapy
The aim of maintenance sports massage is to reduce soft tissue tightness that might otherwise accumulate and cause pain stiffness and injury over time, especially as the training runs lengthen. A variety of techniques may be used, ranging from deep tissue work, Trigger Point therapy, Muscle Energy Technique and mobilisation of joints, to specific stretching and strengthening.
A typical sports maintenance massage is between 30 minutes to an hour and is a very helpful monthly addition to a training programme, particularly if you're training for an endurance event such as a half or full marathon.
After your event, Sports Massage Therapy can help to reduce post marathon muscle tightness, so you can comfortably and quickly return to training and normal daily activities.
The Do's and Don’ts of Marathon Training
- Seek advice immediately if there is any sign of recurrent soreness or sharp pain during or after training.
- Have a routine monthly sports massage to ensure any soft-tissue strain from the increasing miles is managed to prevent any injury.
- Adopt a carefully programmed warm-up and stretching routine appropriate to the event.
- Maintain a regular routine of trunk strengthening programme such as Pilates.
- Continue training or competing if there is on-going or increasing discomfort or acute joint or muscle pain without consulting a professional for advice.
- Attempt any stretching exercises that generate localised pain within muscle groups, tendons or attachment points.
If you are running in this years London Marathon, you may be interested in our London Marathon Preparation Package:
5 x 1 hour Sports Massage Therapy sessions for the price of 4
Only £200 instead of £250!
Buy now, and use by 31st May 2019.