What are the benefits of sports massage? Here's our friends at Fix...
Massage should play a huge part in any training programme, alongside warming up and cooling down. Massage will help to alleviate those general aches and pains that build up as you gradually increase the intensity and duration of your programme.
For competitors massage should be a fundamental part of their training regime, primarily as a preventative measure for avoiding injury, for enhancing recovery between training sessions and re-balancing the body by loosening over-tight areas of tension.
Swimmers mostly uses the upper body muscles (back, chest, shoulders and arms) to generate power
and speed. Because of the repetitive nature of the arm actions, shoulder and neck issues are the main area of concern. Sports massage can help to identify and reduce areas of tightness in the muscles.
Lengthening tight muscles and increasing their range of motion, not only increases speed through the water, but also delays the onset of fatigue and helps reduce levels of lactic acid accumulation.
When running, a lot of stress is placed on the body and the body, in order to heal, naturally has to scar. The more scars the body has, the stiffer it is and therefore, it can't perform at full capacity. Sports massage can help reduce scar tissue.
Splashing and Dashing!
For both runner and swimmers scar tissue often builds up. But what is a scar tissue? Our muscles, tendons and ligaments are made out of collagen fibres which, when aligned in the same direction, are free to move and are able to distribute equal load throughout. If you maintain your tissue fibres like this, when you run and swim, the elastic energy will travel harmoniously and you can perform at your optimum capacity. Hence, there will be no extra stress placed on the joints and you are less likely to get injured.
However, if the fibres are damaged, too tight or too weak, they will change their structure and shape, and will compromise tissue function. This means that when you run the elastic energy wont be able to travel throughout your body, it will stop and load itself when it finds the first obstacle, the first scar.
Sports and Remedial Massage can break down scar tissue better than anything else, including stretching.
As FIX massage therapist Sanja says sports massage ‘flushes out toxins from the tissue, as well as tensions and adhesions leaving muscles in good, tuned shape. A quality sports massage therapists should be able to palpate and feel the scar tissue, feel how sensitive and thick it is and decide which technique and amount of pressure to use in order to resolve it. Techniques like Soft Tissue Release, Transverse Friction, Connective Tissue Manipulation and deep long compressions always work. Depending how old the scar is, you might need a course of sessions.’
For more about sports massage at FIX and to book in please click here.