Overuse injuries are one of the most common types of injuries sustained by athletes. Even with proper form, warm-ups, and stretching, routine practice and sports games can take a toll on any athlete’s body. Fortunately, there are non-surgical ways in which an athlete can stay on the field after sustaining an injury.
Up to 92% of Americans agree that massage is an effective treatment for pain reduction. Different massage therapies such as trigger point massage, medical massage, and sports massage can help to reduce inflammation in the muscular tissue and to relieve athletes and other patients of pain.
Physical benefits of receiving a sports massage
Once an athlete has received medical treatment for their injuries, massage can work as a part of physical therapy. Massage reduces an athlete’s pain without the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and helps hasten the healing process on the road to recovery.
Some of the most common physical benefits athletes experience during a sports massage include:
- Reduced inflammation
When receiving a sports massage, the therapist’s hands help reduce muscle aches and pain due to inflammation by applying pressure to the muscular tissue. This pressure warms the muscles, stretches the tissue, and helps to reduce adhesions in the area. As a result, the blood can flow more smoothly around the area of the injury.
- Reduced swelling
When the therapist assists in breaking down adhesions in the affected area of the athlete’s body and improve the circulation of blood, they also help to improve lymph fluid’s access to the injury. Lymph fluid helps to flush out these broken down adhesions, therefore reducing swelling in the joints. It also assists in faster healing because of the fluid’s high density of white blood cells.
- Muscle tightness prevention
Athletes who have recovered from sports injuries may become injured again if their muscles have limited access to oxygen while the athlete is exercising. Lack of oxygen can cause muscles to tighten, which can result in overextension and ligament tears. Massage techniques keep the circulatory system working properly, ensuring the muscles have ample access to oxygenated blood and therefore reducing tightness.
- Breakdown of lactic acid buildup
Another cause of muscle tension and tightness includes a buildup of lactic acid in the muscle. When the body has low levels of oxygen, lactic acid builds and creates knots, called trigger points, in the muscle. A deep tissue massage or trigger point massage therapy can help to break down these knots and additional metabolic waste. The body then flushes this waste and replaces it with the oxygenated blood that area of the body needs.
Massage provides a number of physical benefits for any individual, not just those suffering from sports injuries. If you’re suffering from pain or stiffness in your muscles or joints, consider getting a therapeutic massage today.