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November 17, 2017
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Sports recovery and injury prevention – the importance of massage!

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Sports recovery and injury prevention – the importance of massage!

Every successful athlete knows that remedial massage is an essential part of sports recovery and injury prevention. In this article, we examine the issue of “soreness” in athletes and explain why remedial massage is so beneficial for optimal sports performance and preventing injury.

Why does the body need to recover!

When the body is under a large amount of stress, an excess of hormones such as adrenaline or cortisone are released. With athletes, the body is permanently geared towards being active and never has a chance to relax and recover. This excess of hormones has a negative effect on the immune system, leaving the body more vulnerable to infection and generally making it more difficult for the body to recover. Therefore, it is essential that the body can learn to fully switch off at rest time in order to recuperate. When properly rested, the body can perform optimally when competing or training.

What are the benefits of remedial massage for atheletes!

In an athlete’s normal cycle they need to be able to train, compete and recover. Prolonged periods of rest for full recovery are ideal, but may not be an option during a competitive season. One of the main objectives of remedial massage is to enhance recovery and decrease recovery time, thereby improving athletic performance. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Relieves muscle spasms and reduces nerve irritation
  • Breaks down scar tissue and adhesions
  • Improves circulation, which in turn increases oxygen and nutrition delivery to muscles and helps repair damaged tissues
  • Stimulates the circulatory and lymphatic system, enabling faster removal of waste products and toxins
  • Relieves stress and provides relaxation to the entire body, which is essential for good recovery

By using remedial massage techniques, a massage therapist can firstly relax and warm the muscles, then work on lengthening them and removing any knots. Remedial massage can also help with joint mobilisation, stretching and strengthening certain muscle groups to remove any imbalances, improving flexibility greatly. Regular remedial massage may also help to prevent injuries developing; by keeping the muscle groups balanced and certain muscles lengthened, it can prevent some of the more common sporting injuries like tendinitis, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries and many more.

When is the best time for a remedial massage!

After a remedial massage, particularly if the focus has been on breaking down adhesions and joint mobilisation, the body may be sore for up to 48 hours. A remedial massage should be booked at least two days before a serious training session or competition. Pre-event massage, however, can be performed right up to just before the event begins. This is because this type of massage is less invasive, simply involving brisk, flowing strokes that increase circulation and mobilise the muscles.

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