How Massage Therapy can Help Athletes

How Massage Therapy can Help Athletes

Injuries are an unfortunate part of an athlete’s life. They affect your performance, slows down training and conditioning schedules during recovery and damages can even be expensive to treat as well. But massage therapy can be beneficial in treating injuries and faster recoveries.

There are dozens of health benefits that regular massages can offer as a part of a player’s fitness routine. And those athletes and coaches who have undergone advanced massage therapy have spoken positively about it. When they do experience these routines, athletes are given different choices. One choice is to receive a deep tissue massage. It is aimed at helping work out specific areas that need attention. Admittedly, deep tissue massages are not the most relaxing ones, but they work well on specific injuries and thus, fit well for athletes. The second choice is getting a sports massage, which consists of fast, short strokes, and warms up and cools down a player pre and post an event. The last choice is a relaxation massage, and mostly every athlete prefers it. It relaxes and calms players and is quite helpful for those who are nervous or anxious about their performance.

Some of the benefits massage therapy offers are:

Boosts flexibility and motion range

To improve performance, prevent injuries and enhance recovery time, a better motion range and flexibility plays a vital role. And getting a regular massage can increase blood flow to the muscles, tissues surrounding it and fascia. Increased blood circulation relieves muscle tension and reduces soreness. It also encourages a faster recovery period.

Helps in inflammation reduction

A regular session of massage keeps a player’s muscles healthy and lively by controlling the inflammation. When a player practices strenuous exercises, their muscles experience a certain degree of exercise-induced trauma and inflammation. To recover from this trauma and inflammation, the muscles require a lot of energy. Massage helps generate energy in the muscles by creating mitochondria in the cells. It provides the body with the energy needed to repair the trauma caused by heavy work out and in turn, reduce inflammation.

Alleviates pain

Any inflammation in the muscles is followed by agonizing pain. So, when a player undergoes massage to reduce inflammation in the muscles, it also reduces the pain. That is a healthy bargain for an athlete.  When the massage helps create mitochondria in the muscles cells, it supplies energy to the body to heal itself. Massage also helps alleviate anxiety, stress, and it furthers speeds up the healing process.

Provides relaxation

Massage is an excellent activator of the parasympathetic nervous system. It is a part of the nervous system that is responsible for relaxation. Whether you are an athlete or not, massage can help you relax and relieve stress. Health and Fitness Magazine even states that a relaxed and lowered-tension state of mind boosts focus which is a good thing when you have a sporting event to look forward to. The more relaxed a player is, the better they will be able to perform. For those players who undergo rigorous training and stress repeatedly, the importance of a relaxed muscle system is essential. It is even more critical when you consider that sore muscles are inflexible and hamper quality performance. The muscles are a bunch of fibers bundles together. A single muscle group is made up of fiber bundles which, when stretched, tie up in a knot with each other and thus, their length reduces. It results in stiff muscles and causes discomfort and severe pain. A proper massage stretches and loosens tense muscles and the connective tissues surrounding it. It promotes better blood flow taking nutrients and oxygen to the affected area. It ultimately speeds up the healing process and reduces tension, soreness and fatigue.

Prevent further injuries

Continuous massage sessions can help prevent further injuries. As massage helps boost the motion range and flexibility and reduces inflammation in the muscles, it reduces the chances of injuries in the future. Several athletes suffer injuries because of tense muscles. Hence, they undergo regular massage therapy near me to relax the body and muscles.

Promotes rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is a major cause of concern for athletes who have suffered an injury on-field or due to an accident. Sometimes even minor injuries can spell trouble for players and hamper their performance. When an injured player undergoes massage therapy, it helps the wounds to heal faster and alleviate the discomfort that is commonly found during the rehabilitation process. Some techniques, like the soft tissue technique, which is widely used by therapists, offers efficient healing of chronic and acute injuries. Another method called the trigger point technique is highly useful in improving spasm and pain, which are common symptoms of an injured muscle.

Dampen the effects of repetitive stress injuries

Athletes are highly susceptible to repetitive stress injuries. These injuries happen when an athlete repeats a similar type of motion continuously over a long period. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of repetitive stress injury and is witnessed in people who type a lot. The injury occurs due to the nerves in the wrist pinching while maintaining an elevated position during typing. Message therapy can significantly help in reducing the tension in the wrists and increase the flexibility of the ligaments and joints. It also helps to direct nutrients to the injured areas which encourage faster recovery and healing.

Reduces chronic pain

Athletes face chronic pain due to their stringent training routine. The pain travels through the body via the connective network of fibers in the nervous system. This connective network is responsible for transmitting impulses from the injury site to the brain and back. The pain results in a lot of stress and further affects the sleep cycle and hinders the body’s ability to recover fast. Good massage therapy can offer relief in these circumstances. When a player undergoes massage, the body releases a hormone called endorphin. The hormone is responsible for hindering the pain receptors and helps in alleviating the pain intensity.

Conclusion

Regular massage therapy can help an athlete maintain optimum performance.  But one thing to remember is that massage therapy does not give results in one session alone. You have to talk with your therapist and undergo regular session to bear the fruit. Whether an athlete or not, massage therapy is helpful in both cases.

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