By: Tyler Laducer, LMT
There are many modalities in the world that one can use to help improve their performance in not just sports, but life as well; One of the best modalities is a sports massage. There are a multitude of reasons, much like improved recovery times, that a sports massage can give the most optimal results to life and activities. Some questions that are usually asked are, “Why should one get a ‘sports’ massage instead of a ‘regular’ massage?” “How is a sports massage more beneficial for someone?” These questions and more will be answered. Sports massage is a form of bodywork geared toward participants in athletics. It is used to help prevent injuries, to prepare the body for athletic activity and maintain it in optimal condition, and to help athletes recover from workouts and injuries. Even with this as the definition of sports massage can still be a great modality of massage for even the “average joe” who isn’t training for athletic events.
Sports massage enhances performance for not just athletes, but even the desk jockey stuck in front of the computer. This is possible due to the healing effects a sports massage can create. For the desk jockey, sports massage can help relieve the different pains that is experienced from all of the sitting or standing. With sports massage a technique called “neuromuscular therapy” can help ‘reset’ the muscle and facial tissue to help relieve pain and myofascial adhesions. The same is true with athletes and helping their pains and aches. Another benefit for athletes is having the after workout lactic acid flushed out to help promote quicker healing and recovery.
Everyone has questions on what modality of massage is right for them and in all honesty it comes down to one question, “what is the goal to be achieved?” If the goal is to achieve better performance (with both sports and work), faster recovery, and restore “problematic” areas then sports massage is the best modality. Much like a deep tissue massage, sports massage should not create bruising and a lot of people only think that sports massage will bring hurt and pain, but that simply isn’t the case. Even in a sports massage it is solely based off of what the pain tolerance of a person is, and what they can take pressure and depth-wise. Another added technique in sports massage is called “muscle stripping,” which is extremely beneficial and a much faster way of helping break up myofascial adhesions.
Visiting a massage therapist for sports massage can help create an impact and change in anyone’s life. This modality can increase performance in both life and athletics, it can also create quicker recovery from training. Everyone wants to maintain optimal performance in every aspect of life and even though any modality of massage is a great way to do that, sports massage is very specified towards creating change and recovery. Always remember the main goal of a massage and if it is creating change or increasing performance, sports massage is the best modality to choose.
Tyler Laducer L.M.T., C.R. is a licensed massage therapist (LMT) and certified reflexologist (CR). He practices at Washington Park Chiropractic as the lead massage therapist and specializes in Sports massage, Medical massage, and Reflexology.