“What is Sports Massage”?
The simple answer is an Intelligent Massage Therapist who uses his skills to address the physical issues of the Athlete relative to his/her performance before or after an Athletic event – that event can be a Marathon, Bike Race, or just Continuous Training.
Pre-Event Sports Massage – the therapist will focus on circulation and flexibility. Pre-event sports massage can occur within 1-3 days prior to an intense activity. Here the goal is to provide optimal performance and decrease the risk of injury. Pre-event Sports massage will consist of on table stretching, heat, and broad circulatory strokes along the full length of the major muscle groups. It is characteristically very relaxing.
Post-Event Sports Massage – the therapist will focus on neutralizing they hyper tonicity of the muscle and restore circulation by encouraging lactic acid (a bi product of oxygen conversion in the blood) back into the lymphatic system so that it can be replace by fresh blood. An example of recovery time in a Marathon – runners will typically have difficulty walking up and down stairs in the first 3 days following the race. Ideally, two massages within the first 36 hours after the race can completely restore a runner’s circulation and eliminate soreness. The goal is to neutralize extreme conditions in the tissue – muscles swollen and immobilized by lactic acid, connective tissue that is stiff from mimicking in the repetitive action of the event I.e. hamstrings, quadriceps and calves of the runner as well as upper and mid trapezius and latissimus dorsi from arm pumping during the race.
Injury can occur in the accelerated building up to high level performance or the rapid cool down after the event. If not managed properly with hydration and external manipulation the potential of muscle tear or complications from compromised residual postures from the event can occur.
Recommendation: Get 1 Pre-Event Sports Massage within 36 hours prior to the event for optimal performance and get 2 Post-Event massage within 36 ours after the event for complete recovery
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