Updated: Oct 11
What is Sports Massage?
Sport Massage is perhaps, within the physical therapeutic techniques, the most appreciated by the athlete.
Activate your body!
There really is no special Sports Massage, as there is, for example, no geriatric massage. The difference lies in the moment of the sports activity in which it is applied and in the therapeutic objectives that we pursue.
The general objectives will be:
- Prepare the muscle tissues for sports effort, keeping them in an optimal state.
- Prevention of injuries both in training and in competition.
- Recovery of the injuries that appear and of the physical form of the athlete.
Likewise, micro-breaks can occur at the microscopic level within the muscle fiber tissue, which give rise to processes of inflammation, regeneration and tissue remodeling and that will last longer or shorter depending on their severity.
Classification of Sports Massage
There are several types of Sports Massage according to the objectives pursued. Sports massage can be classified into:
Preparatory / pre-competition massage: Preferably applied (although it varies according to the authors) between 6 and 24 hours prior to competition, training or activity, to optimize the elastic and contractile capacities of the tissues. It is an invigorating massage.
increased blood circulation and therefore energy enrichment increased internal muscle temperature and viscoelastic properties of muscle and connective tissue, which forms fascia, fascia, tendons ... ensuring an adequate contractile response and tension.
elimination of localized adhesions and myalgias
Recovery massage: It is usually applied between 30 minutes and 6 hours after finishing the activity. Previously, the athlete must perform active cooling that includes slowing down, stretching, hydration, and respiratory and cardiac normalization.
metabolic waste drainage
reduction of muscle hypertone and possible spasms
increased blood supply
In this phase manual lymphatic drainage is highly indicated and it is necessary to avoid very intense massage therapy techniques that may exacerbate inflammatory pain, increasing recovery time. Rubbing techniques, rhythmic compressions, segmental vibrations can be applied ...
It also represents a kind of psychological "reward" for the athlete for the effort made.
Maintenance massage: It must be periodic. It is used as a diagnostic and treatment medium, forming another part of the athlete's preparation program.
eliminate pictures of muscle fatigue
maintain the natural elasticity of muscle, tendon, facial, ligament tissue ...
detection and elimination of myalgia areas
Slower and more extensive maneuvers will be carried out, such as superficial and deep slides, kneading, friction ... and also any other Manual Therapy technique that helps achieve the above objectives based on the findings obtained during palpation and the rest of the evaluation. such as: trigger point treatment, myofascial induction, connective tissue massage, etc ...
Both the objectives and obviously the massage will vary depending on the sport that is practiced, depending on whether it is flexibility, strength, depth or speed, since the physiological and biochemical processes that take place in the body will be different. It will be necessary to modulate the rhythm, speed and depth. of the massage depending on what we want to achieve.
Sports massage increases blood movement and allows it to reach deep muscle layers. That is why it is not only recommended for athletes, but it is also indicated for anyone who makes physical efforts and even for those who are more sedentary.
Why does sports massage improve your performance?
Sports massage aims to improve the functioning of muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.
Unlike a relaxing massage, sports massage focuses on preparing and recovering the muscles of those who practice physical exercise. In addition, their movements are stronger and faster to promote better blood circulation and help eliminate toxins from the muscles.
The muscular tissue of an athlete must be taken care of at all times, to avoid possible elongations, breaks or micro breaks. Sports massage is responsible for optimizing muscle performance, reducing muscle fatigue, eliminating waste and toxins, realigning muscle fibers and activating blood circulation, especially in areas of increased muscle tension.
The result is a complete recovery of the entire body and optimal preparation for the next sports activity.
Before and after playing sports
It is indicated for before competition, because it prepares the muscles, stimulates circulation, increases flexibility and prevents injuries. It is also essential when we have finished our sport session or physical effort, because it accelerates recovery and improves our performance in the short and long term.
It is ideal to perform several maintenance sessions during the season and not wait for injuries. The ideal frequency is a massage every two weeks, in order to eliminate muscle fatigue and improve elasticity.
Kyros Therapy - Sports & Recovery