How Sports Athletes can Benefit from Massage Therapy

massage therapy


massage therapyRegular massage therapy is a great way to de-stress and help you get away from the daily hustle so that you can have that well-deserved me-time. Slowly and steadily, it melts away your tension and worries.

However, a sports massage is somewhat different from a regular one. Make sure you seek a sports massage therapist in case of any sports-related injury.

You can refer to this article to gather more information about massage therapy in Whitby.

But let’s take a closer look at what exactly a sports massage is, techniques used by a sports therapist, and the benefits of sports massage therapy.

What is a Sports Massage?

Though sports massage is a type of massage, it varies from general massage therapy. The primary goal of sports massage is to treat sore muscles and injuries specific to sports. Generally, most athletes incorporate multiple sessions in their training schedule.

A sports massage differs than a deep tissue massage which more specifically focuses on chronic muscle tension and stress reduction. However, both techniques are very effective at treating musculoskeletal issues in the body.

In a nutshell, sports massage involves a series of systematic manipulation of the body tissues and muscles. A massage session could be either pre-performance or post-performance. Many scientific pieces of research prove the significance of the sports massage for athletes and sports players.

Let’s take a look at some of the core techniques used by a sports therapist to treat your injuries.

Techniques Used By a Sports Therapist

A sports therapist employs a plethora of methods to assist sports players. The sessions are different for different individuals. They are customized, keeping in mind your needs and requirements. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Frictions
  • Tapotement/Percussion (rhythmic striking)
  • Petrissage (kneading)
  • Effleurage (stroking)
  • Compression
  • Vibration
  • Stretching
  • Gliding
  • Trigger points

Benefits of Sports Massage

Apart from relaxation, regular massage offers many benefits. Most of the benefits associated with sports massage are directly linked to experience or scientific research. Some of the benefits are:

Improves Posture and Form

The body is designed in a way that it tends to disfigure itself to distribute the pain. Think of it as a chain. One link impacts another and so forth. So that you can easily cope with anxiety for the time being. But this unnatural disfigurement can lead to other problems, such as neck pain, bent spine, and so on.

Massage therapy can assist you in dealing with the pain so that you can maintain your body posture. It can straighten your spine as well as relax the core muscles around your neck.

Reduces Chronic Pain

An athlete’s body is vulnerable to various forms of natural wear and tear due to intense workout, both on and off the field. The pain can set in the muscles, which can trouble you in the long run.

Massage therapy is known for its pain relief abilities. A hormone called endorphin is released during the massage session, which, in turn, reduces the intensity of pain. It’s considered better than pain killer medications as they can be extremely addictive.

Enhances Flexibility

Every sport requires the player to be flexible, along with being fit and spontaneous. If the athlete is not flexible enough, then they can quickly lose the edge over their competitors. A greater sense of flexibility can decrease the amount of wear and tear in your body.

A few sports massage techniques stretch your muscle fibers. So that the flow of blood is maintained in the muscular system, it further leads to the promotion and maintenance of flexibility. It can help you to access your optimal level of performance.

Improves Sleep

A good 6-8 hours of sleep is necessary for everyone, especially for a sports player. If they don’t receive proper sleep, then they tend to get frustrated, agitated, and angry. This can block their minds, which can cause a hindrance to their game.

During sleep, the body naturally repairs the wear and tear a person endures daily, especially in regards to muscle recovery. Massage therapy can positively affect your sleep cycle. It enhances the quality as well as the quantity of sleep.

Boosts Circulation

Majorly the focus is on two types of flow- lymph flow and blood flow. It’s been observed that if there’s any problem in any of the types of circulation, then it can lead to severe issues. These issues include tightness, swelling, an increase in pain, and tension.

Massage therapy aids in circulation by creating friction between the fingers and the skin. Moreover, better flow also means better breathing as well as smoother movement. This will help the athlete to reach his or her optimal potential.

Speeds Up Recovery

When a person tries to stretch their soft tissues beyond their physical capacity, then they often lead to injuries such as pulled muscles. The recovery of ligament tears can take weeks or usually months. This can hurt your body as well as your entire career.

This is when massage therapy comes to rescue you. It can provide additional help to the body’s natural recovery process. It can ease up some of the load so that the body is not stressed out or exhausted.

Helps With Depression

Multiple science-backed pieces of research prove that once a person gives up hope of recovery mentally. Then the body loses the ability to cope with pain when too much pressure is put upon it always.

Massage therapy releases hormones like serotonin and endorphins, which are known for their properties of making a person happy. It can push people towards taking positive goals by increasing their confidence levels.

Increases Performance

Many theories suggest that a person thrives on the need for achievement. Once the person attains a goal, then they desire for a higher level to outperform their competitors. Ambitions further fuel their demand.

However, they need to opt for an option that complies with the set of rules and regulations. Incorporating massage therapy into your schedule might do the trick, as a multitude of perks accompany it.

Eliminates Muscle Spasms

The body is made up of a variety of fibers that are bundled together, which are popularly known as muscles. If too much pressure is put upon the muscles, they tend to knot up and shrink in size.

Moreover, it causes the muscles to become stiff, and you experience intolerable pain. The body, in turn, becomes inflexible, which directly affects your performance. It can also cut off circulation. Proper massage therapy can make the muscles functioning better by stretching and loosening the connective tissues.

Decreases Chance of Injury

Generally, an athlete has a power-packed schedule that leaves either limited or no time for relaxation or leisure activities. One of the most remarkable advantages of massage therapy is the delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).

Moreover, it’s a deferred pain that you experience after you exert yourself. You generally begin to feel discomfort 12-15 hours after the long exercise session. You may typically require a week to recover completely. In this case, the best techniques are effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement.

Reduces Anxiety and Stress

When a player injures himself on the field, then they are given a few days off. In the sports world, not everyone is keen on taking leave when their career is at its peak. It can create a lot of stress and anxiety that is bad for recovery.

The immune system is also positively affected by the sports massage. The strengthening of this system wards off multiple diseases and ailments. It gives you the ability to cope with minor injuries or recover at a faster pace so that any damage doesn’t hamper your career.


As an athlete, you’re used to pushing your body to the limit. But push yourself too hard and it’ll impact your body, your health, and your workouts.

Sore muscles can commonly occur due to strenuous activity that is performed or due to an injury. For many people, it can be challenging to perform daily activities or exercises when muscles are strained and sore.

To get the most out of every workout, sports massage can help you heal your muscles effectively and quickly, without pain medication. It’s a great way to increase flexibility and blood flow too, while having a host of other health benefits.

Massaging sore muscles is proven to be extremely useful in rebuilding the tissue and alleviating the discomforts that one experiences.

With routine massage, athletes and individuals who are physically active can obtain relief and boost their performance without forming dependencies on pain medication.

About Shannon Clark

Shannon holds a degree in Exercise Science and is a certified personal trainer and fitness writer with over 10 years of industry experience.

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