All successful athletes know (or should know) that sports massage is an immensely crucial part of injury prevention and recovery. Muscles that have been overstretched or worked hard lead to micro tears, which in turn trigger an inflammatory response that could be or painful or tolerable, depending on how hard you worked your muscles. Once you feel this pain, it could hamper your ability to perform optimally because of limited power and/or reduced mobility.
How Sports Massage Aid Sports Recovery
When your body experiences significant stress, you release cortisone or adrenaline, which are fight or flight hormones. If your body doesn’t address this excess hormone production, it would negatively impact your immune system and make your body more susceptible to infection and overall, making it harder for you to recover. But because you’re an athlete, your body is used to strenuous activity that sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re getting ample recovery time. Hence, it’s crucial that your body learn how to completely switch it off to rest so that you could recover and perform at your best when you train or compete.
However, this is easier said than done, especially if you’re in the middle of a competitive season and can’t just rest the whole day. One way athletes go about this problem is by having regular sports or injury massage. According to Jenna Baker LMT, an experienced massage therapist in Salt Lake City, injury massage could significantly help in promoting faster recovery and preventing injury, thereby enhancing overall athletic performance. Other benefits of massage include the following:
- Alleviates muscle spasms and nerve irritation.
- Promotes improved circulation, increasing the delivery of nutrition and oxygen to your muscles and aid in repairing damaged tissue.
- Breaks down adhesions and scar tissue.
- Stimulates your lymphatic and circulatory systems to allow for quicker removal of toxins and waste products from your body.
- Reduces physical and mental stress, which is extremely vital to proper recovery.
Other Crucial Things to Know
Aside from the key benefits mentioned above, massage therapy could likewise aid in joint mobilization as well as strengthening and stretching specific muscles to get rid of imbalances and enhance flexibility. It could also significantly help prevent the most common sports injuries such as rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints among others. Just make sure to work with a licensed massage therapist with ample experience in sports massage to ensure the best possible results.