What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is simply a deep tissue massage that aims to massage and manipulate the muscles, stretch out the fascia, and work remedially to ease tightness and restrictions. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. It aims to restore function and eradicate muscular pain whether the discomfort has originated in bad posture from desk work, or throwing oneself around a rugby or football pitch.
What conditions can sports massage treat?
Some common conditions are:
- Hamstring tears
- Tennis elbow
- Golfers elbow
- RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)
- Iliotibial band syndrome
- Frozen shoulder
- Rotator cuff tears
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tension headaches and migraines.
How does sports massage work?
Sports Massage separates soft tissues that are stuck together – and often they no longer feel soft but very hard, stiff and sore. Muscles (and the fascia that surround them) become stuck after injury, misuse, lack of use, stress and tension. Sports massage can soften such hardened tissue, and can restore movement and mobility around joints that have become stiff and painful.
Is sports massage just for sports people?
Definitely not! Sports massage is helpful for anyone looking for a deep tissue massage that soothes, eases, and mobilises the muscles – rather than solely stroking the skin. A common misconception is that sports massage is only for sports people – it’s not! Whilst it’s invaluable to athletes who might need pre and post event work to either loosen, repair or refresh sore, aching limbs; sports massage is also ideal for those who don’t necessarily play sports, but perhaps sit in the same position for long periods, or carry out repetitive tasks. It can restore stiff, sore muscles to ones that move with pain-free ease; giving freedom from pain and discomfort.
The sports massage that we perform is finely tuned and sensitive. We are aware that some clients want a more ‘heavy duty’ treatment that blasts out muscles quickly and efficiently; but others will require a much more gentle approach. Often a treatment can span these two extremes – dependent on the requirements of the client. Our sports massage is about listening carefully; and responding to the unique needs of each individual.
What techniques are used in Sports Massage?
Clients are often rightly confused by such terms as ‘NMT’ (Neuromuscular Therapy), ‘STR’ (Soft Tissue Release), and ‘Myofascial Release‘ – but really these are technical terms – and the understanding of such terms is mostly relevant to the sports massage therapist rather than client (unless of course they are interested!). Such techniques form part of a toolkit that the massage therapist can use to work in a way that suits the individual client. Some of these techniques involve the client being active (ie actively getting involves with the stretching) this can be useful, but also tiring for someone that’s had a long day in the office. A good sports massage therapist will know when their client could benefit from something that is just as effective, but requires less hard work on the part of the client.