Though originally designed to help athletes perform at optimum levels during games, sports massage is growing in popularity as an effective treatment for sports-related injuries or limited range of motion. Sports massage focuses on a client’s trouble spots, like shoulder soreness after eighteen holes of golf, or a tender hamstring just before a big race. Physical therapists understand sport-related injuries, and can help minimize pain, speed recovery and help clients perform their best at their favorite activities with full range of motion.
There are four variations of sports massage and choosing the right one is based on the client’s current level of discomfort and upcoming athletic events:
- Pre-event sports massage involves a vigorous and stimulating Swedish massage that targets the muscles that will be used during the upcoming event, boosting circulation and revving up energy levels with brisk massage techniques that invigorate.
- Post-event sports massage is designed to help the athlete wind down after intense physical exertion, targets muscle soreness and helps to normalize body tissues and prevent muscle stiffness the next day.
- Restorative sports massage is provided during training to keep an athlete at peak performance level. Muscles are kept warm and supple, enabling more intense exertion during training time and minimizing the risk of injury.
- Rehabilitative sports massage is aimed at treating sports injuries and speeding recovery time. Targeted at a specific trouble spot, rehabilitative sports massage helps increase circulation and protect range of motion.
For anyone participating in regular physical activity, sports massage therapy every week or two may be a great addition to your normal regimen.