Unfortunately for many of us, sports and injuries go hand in sling… er, leg in cast… or maybe we should say, back in bed.
Massage can help and that’s why you see massage therapists on the front line as integral fixtures in football, boxing and many other professional sports. They’re in the dugout, on the sidelines and in the boxing corner working their magic.
Therapeutic massage does not follow a rote system, but focuses on the on the specific trouble zone like, leg, knee or shoulder that is routinely injured in the athlete’s chosen sport from world-class sprinters to weekend golfers.
Sports massage therapy is also aimed at those areas of the body that are damaged or hurting from simple overexertion.
Today, sports massage is often used before an event, tournament or game to prepare the body for maximum performance. After the game, sports massage can help speed recovery.
As part of a balanced training regimen massage can increase flexibility and prevent injuries. Athletes also say it helps prolong endurance and reduce fatigue. According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, range of hip motion can be significantly improved by just a 30-minute massage.
Ph.D., Margaret Jones, from the American College of Sports Medicine found that sports massage served to reduce soreness. That’s really not surprising considering that soreness is known to be caused by the build up of lactic acid in muscle tissue; massage stimulates circulation to drive toxins out of the tissues.
If you want to engage in sports, and you should, the optimum plan would include a regular regimen of massage every week or two to keep you in the game, able to perform at your peak level and off the injured list.