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Sports Massage For Athletes of All Levels

A “sports massage” is one of most commonly applied treatments in all of our clinics. Perhaps you are curious about this very effective treatment and you are wondering would it be the right treatment for you – our chartered physiotherapist Ann Prendergast talks us through the different types of sports massages.

Answer These Questions

  • Are you an athlete that wants to reduce recovery time between training sessions?
  • Do you want to reduce the likelihood of developing a sports injury that could see you out of action?
  • Do you find your body feels stiff or sore after physical activity? 

If you have answered yes to the above questions, you might like to consider a sports massage. Continue reading below to find out what a sports massage involves and the benefits of this treatment.

What is a Sports Massage?

Sports massage is widely used by the athletic population for a variety of purposes such as injury prevention, recovery from fatigue, relaxation, and to increase performance. It was originally developed to help athletes prepare for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training.

However, sports massage is not just for athletes. It can be extremely beneficial for those suffering from everyday injuries, chronic pain, or restricted range of motion.

Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that includes techniques such as effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction, and vibration massage. These are all different types of strokes which vary in depth and speed depending on whether a treatment is pre- or post-event.

There are four types of sports massage:

  • Pre-Event Sports Massage: given within four hours preceding an event and directed towards the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion. It can either stimulate or help to calm a nervous athlete. It supplements an athlete’s warm-up and prepares them for top performance. 
  • Post-Event Sports Massage: given within four hours following competition or training, it helps to normalize the body’s tissues. It helps relax the muscles, remove waste products, and circulate nutrients. It helps prevent muscle soreness following exercise and reduces recovery time.
  • Training Sports Massage: given between training sessions to reduce recovery time and decrease the risk of injury. It is useful for addressing any tension, inflammation or minor injuries before they become problematic. 
  • Rehabilitative Sports Massage: aids recovery from sports injuries. It can help to alleviate pain and return the body to full health. It reduces inflammation, breaks down scar tissue, and returns muscle and tendon flexibility to normal. It reduces the chance of re-injury.

Physical Benefits of Sports Massage:

  • Reduces stress, anxiety, tension
  • Pain relief
  • Loosens tight muscles
  • Increases range of motion and flexibility
  • Improves circulation of blood and lymph fluids around the body
  • Improves immune system
  • Promotes restful sleep

You do not have to be an Olympian or an Ultra Runner to benefit from a sports massage. If you enjoy physical activity but find yourself sore between training sessions, or find it difficult to recover quickly, a sports massage might be for you. Physiotherapists are trained professionals in this area and can help you decide if this is the right treatment option for you.

We provide sports massage in all of our clinics across Ireland and all of our physiotherapist are experts in providing this treatment. So perhaps after reading this you think you might benefit from a sports massage? If so you can book an appointment with us today and remember that the sports massage really is for athletes of every level and standard.

Today’s author Ann Prendergast, works in our clinic in Ayrfield Medical park in Kilkenny, if you would like to be treated by Ann, make sure to mention this while booking your appointment with our patient services.