A sports massage is similar to a deep tissue massage, but your massage therapist may incorporate stretching as well. It’s also common for sports massages to focus on specific areas of the body based on the sport you play and the muscles affected.
Medical Massage by Samantha offers relaxing, effective sports massages that are perfect for athletes, weekend warriors and marathon runners. Our Sports Massage in Beverly Hills & Los Angeles CA can help you overcome sports-related aches and injuries, enhance your flexibility and prevent injuries from reoccurring. To schedule an appointment, contact us today.
What Happens When You Exercise?
Regular exercise is good for the mind and body. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, manages blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lowers the risk for psychological depression. Over time, your body gradually adapts to the demands of exercise, allowing you to do more.
Here are the three steps of conditioning that the body goes through:
- Tearing down phase. In this phase, you are pushed to your physical limits and may experience stiffness and soreness, especially if you haven’t worked out in a while.
- Recovery phase. The recovery phase refers to the time in between your workouts. You need this time to rest so that you don’t damage your muscle fibers.
- Buildup phase. In the last phase, your body adapts to the new demands placed on it. This is how the body gets stronger and faster.
Because the body goes through this process when performing new exercises, many athletes benefit from sports massages. When used during the exercise lifecycle, a relaxing massage helps the body recover while moving out waste products and promoting healing.
What Causes Muscle Stiffness and Soreness?
One of the biggest hurdles with pushing the body is that you can experience a great deal of soreness. This is why some people are turned off from working out, as the pain and stiffness is difficult to work through. However, if you don’t push the body, it won’t reach the buildup phase.
There are a number of reasons why the body gets sore and stiff after a new workout:
- Delayed muscle soreness. With delayed muscle soreness, you don’t feel the pain until 24-48 hours later. This pain is caused from a number of factors like minor muscle damage, muscle spasms or a buildup of waste products.
- Muscle knots. Another possible reason for muscle soreness is muscle knots (trigger points). These often cause intense pain and may be referred to other parts of the body. It’s believed that muscle knots come from sudden trauma.
- Hypertonic muscles. When muscles are heavily exercised, they can lose their ability to relax. This causes tight, hypertonic muscles and stiffness, putting you at a greater risk for injury.
What is Sports Massage Therapy? How Does it Work?
A therapeutic sports massage is a type of massage that treats soft tissue aches, pain and injuries related to recreational activities like running, swimming or playing contact sports. By massaging the appropriate muscles, it’s possible to reduce muscle stiffness and improve relaxation. This therapy can be used during training, for rehabilitation or for pre- and pro-performance.
Many different movements and techniques are used in sports massage in Los Angeles CA. Here are some examples of the techniques we may use:
- Swedish style massage
- Effleurage (stroking)
- Petrissage (kneading)
- Trigger points
- Tapotement (rhythmic striking)
What are the Benefits of Sports Massage?
Sports massage therapy has many reported benefits based on experience and observation. Not only does this type of therapy improve physical health, but also it can enhance mental health. This is the case because massage therapy is good for the overall body as it stimulates the relaxation response and reduces stress.
Here are the main advantages of sports massage therapy:
- Increase range of motion
- Enhance flexibility
- Reduce muscle tension
- Decrease muscle spasms
- Improve blood flow
- Move out waste products
With these benefits, you can recover faster from injuries, have a lowered risk of recurring injury and enhance your physical state for optimal performance.
How Many Sports Massages Do I Need?
The number of sports massages you need is based on your fitness, level of activity and injuries. When you schedule an appointment with Samantha, you will receive an individualized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. Samantha will determine the massage techniques that will help you recover, as well as how many massages you can benefit from. On average, athletes benefit from 1-2 massages a month.
As a holistic healing practice, we believe that massage therapy is most beneficial when combined with a well-balanced diet, safe workout routine and other healthy practices like stress management and meditation. To learn more about sports massage therapy and how it can help you stay injury free, schedule an appointment with us today.