Its listed on spa menus everywhere and definitely sounds like something you would do if you played sports, but did you know that sports massage is actually a beneficial massage for everyone?
Sports massage may have been developed primarily for athletes but it is a modality of massage that can be used for weekend warriors, those with an active job or lifestyle, or even those that are recovering from injuries or range of motion issues.
One of the main goals during a sports massage is to work on ligament and joint function as well as the muscle tissues. Because of this, those suffering from chronic joint pain or recovering from an injury not related to a sport activity can also benefit from this modality of massage.
Sports massage is dynamic and often each session is different and catered to the client's specific needs at that time. It incorporates stretching, compression, flushing, and specific trigger work.
Clients may be a serious athletes in the middle of their training cycle, or maybe a weekend warrior who just ran a 10k, or even someone who has an active lifestyle like those who work at a hospital walking around all day.
There are four main types of Sports massage that differ from each other in both length and focus. Granted because of the dynamic ability of sports massage, sessions can look different from those listed below.
Pre-Event- This massage is usually done anywhere from 24 hours to 30 mins prior to an event such as a race. It lasts about 10 to 30 mins and is aimed at warming up the muscles and joints as well as addressing last minute tightness.
Post-Event - This sports massage is done anywhere from immediately after an event up to 24 hrs later. This massage focuses on flushing toxins and cellular waste created during the activity as well as stretching out the fascial and muscle tissues to return the system to a homeostatic (normal) state.
Restorative Sports- Most common massage received at spas and wellness centers, this massage is usually a 60 to 90 min session worked into a training schedule or as part of a wellness routine that addresses any issues of concern and to help aid in faster recovery for harder training.
Rehabilitative Sports- This sports massage style is specifically for working with injuries or chronic pain. This is the sports massage that is beneficial for those suffering from Range of Motion issues or diagnosis such as frozen shoulder. These sessions are typically 30 to 90 minutes done up to several times a week and specific to the issue being addressed.
So whether you are a serious athlete, a weekend warrior, or an average Joe, sports massage can be beneficial for you! Give it a try and see how your body works and performs differently. Be sure to communicate well with your sports therapist so that you can get the most benefit out of your session