Athletes put their bodies through a lot every day. After you finish a long run or training session, you might notice that some of your muscles are stiff and sore. There are other symptoms you can experience too, especially after you suffer from an injury. The professionals who work in this field use techniques that help clients recover from those injuries as well as improve their range of motion. Now is a good time to learn the top things you should know about sports massage before your session.

Types of Sports Massage

Though you might think that sports massage refers to just one technique, it includes a variety of techniques and methods. Effleurage is the clinical term for the stroking motion that the therapist uses to work out your muscles. Petrissage is when they knead those muscles. This technique works great on the knots that you carry in your upper and lower body.

Your session may include both compression and friction as well. While compression pushes your muscles together, the therapist uses friction to move your muscles in different ways. You may also opt for a trigger point massage, which is where the professional puts more pressure on your trigger points.

Sports massages can also include elements of a Swedish massage. Also known as classic massage, it uses a combo of stroking and kneading that relaxes your muscles and removes tension or stress. You can also consider deep tissue massage. This is often the best option for athletes who have deep knots and injuries.

Sports Massage Benefits

Looking at the benefits of sports massage is the best way to see what you can get out of your appointment. One of the biggest benefits is that it can improve your range of motion. Your range of motion refers to how far you can move a specific joint. It can also refer to your ability to move a certain muscle. After a sports injury, you may find that you can no longer move as easily as you did before.

Another benefit of sports massage is that it can decrease muscle spasms. Muscle spasms occur when a muscle in your body contracts. It can happen in the middle of the night or when you get home from working out. Some of the common causes include a lack of conditioning, poor hydration, and muscle fatigue. It can affect a single muscle or an entire muscle group and cause so much pain that you can’t get out of bed. Sports massage works out your muscles to help you recover from a muscle spasm and prevent future spasms.

Other benefits of getting a sports massage can include:

  • Making you more flexible.
  • Helping you get better and stronger sleep.
  • Reducing the tension you carry in your muscles.
  • Relaxing your nerves and nerve groups.
  • Improving your overall blood flow.
  • Limiting the recovery time you need between workouts and training sessions.

Are There Any Side Effects?

When you start a new medication, your doctor will talk with you about the possible side effects. The same is true of any treatments you undergo. While sports massages do have some possible side effects, they do not happen in all athletes. You may find that certain muscle groups and areas of your body feel stiff in the days after your massage. They may also feel stiff for a short period. In some cases, therapists use massage oils. A small number of people had allergic reactions to those oils.

Will it Hurt?

A big question that many athletes ask is whether the massages will hurt. The truth is that it depends. Many people feel only some mild discomfort as the therapist works on their bodies. Others feel some pain that actually feels pleasant. If you reach the point where you feel more pain or discomfort than pleasure, let your therapist know.

Pre-Event vs. Post-Event Massages

You can opt for either a pre-event or post-event massage. A pre-event massage takes place no more than 72 hours before the event and no sooner than 48 hours in advance. If you spend a lot of time training for an upcoming event, book a massage to make your muscles feel better and get rid of tension. You may even find that the massage helps you focus more on your marathon, game, or match.

A post-event massage provides all of the same benefits after an event. Whether you compete in a tournament, play multiple games with friends, or run a marathon, plan to have a massage within the next 72 hours. Give your body time to cool down. You’ll also want to hydrate and stretch. A sports massage helps your body recover and get ready to start training again.

Sports Massages for Injuries

Sports massages are also suitable for athletes dealing with injuries because it serves as a major step in the rehabilitation process. Massages are quite common after broken bones. You may find yourself in a cast that limits your range of motion and causes your muscles to weaken. As soon as you’re out of the cast, the therapist will work on improving blood flow and circulation to strengthen your muscles.

Feel comfortable getting a sports massage after a torn ligament or muscle, too. Those injuries can leave you unable to play or perform for weeks or longer. Regular massages help you get back to full strength again. You can also book a sports massage when you have a repetitive stress injury caused by doing the same motion constantly.

You don’t need to go far to book a sports massage. Get in touch with the team at Pro Performance Chiropractic and book your appointment online.