If you are an athlete trying to recover quickly from an injury, a sports massage can help you!
Looking back at where it started, it won’t be wrong to say that massage therapy in 2019 has come a long way! From fitness freaks to elite athletes to recreational exercisers, everyone is opting for sports massage! When carried out by an osteopath in London, a good massage can enhance your athletic performance, heal your damaged tissues, help you recover from injuries and can promote flexibility.
Sports massage is a staple in any athlete’s routine. It can be used pre-performance, post-performance, and during training or rehabilitation.
For a better understanding of what else is it used for and how it can help the most twisted injuries, read through the pointers below.
1. Sports massage reduces chances of athletic injuries
Every athlete’s worst fear is getting injured.
Injuries delay training, impair the performance, and most of all, are costly to treat. Plus, over time, injuries tend to take a toll on your body. In most cases, damaged tissues get healed, but when muscles are continually taxed to their maximum potential during strenuous training, it can lead to a permanent injury.
Studies reveal that a sports massage after a tough workout or game increases blood circulation, the range of motion in the muscles; decreases recovery time between workouts and athletic events; causes muscles to relax and grow mitochondria. Mitochondria, as you know, are powerhouses of your cells and convert nutrients into useful energy. And for you as an athlete, energy is everything.
Osteopaths at Bodytonic Clinic believe that deep-tissue massage increases the size and number of new mitochondria, and increased mitochondria can increase your body’s endurance by increasing the rate that muscles utilise oxygen.
To your body, oxygen is everything.
Sports massage not only concentrates on existing injuries, but can also help prevent them. Therefore, osteopaths recommend massage before conditioning training and after a warm-up session as it helps to return the muscles to their relaxed state.
The better your muscles feel, the better they will heal.
2. Sports massage increases tissue permeability
A lesser-known benefit of sports massage lies in its ability to increase tissue permeability. Deep massage causes the pores in the tissue membrane to open, which allows fluid and nutrients to pass through your tissues more easily. This helps remove waste products and encourage the muscles to take up nutrients and oxygen – which help them recover quicker.
Studies have also revealed that sports massage reduces breathing pattern disorders, decreases DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), and lowers serum creatine kinase post exercise.
3. Sports massage is beneficial to more than muscles
Muscles are not the only benefactors of a massage, but, most athletes report a feeling of pure relaxation, enhanced attentiveness, reduced anxiety, and improve mood following a massage.
Massage is a double-duty treatment – a therapy for both – body and mind. Various studies reveal that sports massage:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces heart rate
- Improves mood
- Increases blood flow through the body
- Relieves muscle pain and tension
- Promotes muscle elasticity
- Stabilizes hormone levels
- Improves the quality of sleep
That’s a lot of bounce for your ounce!
4. Sports massage enhances sports performance
Sports massage helps promote the formation of new healthy tissues and break down scar tissue. It also invigorates your body, dilates the blood vessels, and stretches and strengthens the muscles. Plus, it helps you relax, alleviates the physical and psychological stress, increases endorphin levels in the brain, which helps lift your mood and reduces pain.
Endorphins, the happiness hormones, promote physical and mental well-being, lower stress-level, and decrease anxiety. These factors combined can lead to enhanced sports performance.
Competitive sports don’t solely rely on physical strength, they also require concentration and a high measure of mental strength.
If you are anxious or tired, you may not be able to reach your peak athletic performance.
Sports massage can help in such a case and de-clutter your mind, leading to improved focus.
The therapy activates the rest and digestive system, part of the parasympathetic system, which relaxes your body and mind. It also reduces the level of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands while increasing the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.