Sports massage therapy is quickly gaining popularity around athletes. Nearly two million people suffer from sports-related injuries and receive emergency treatment each year. In addition to pain relief, a sports massage can be used to treat injuries, as well as to prevent damage to the muscle and connective tissues. It also promotes better tone, symmetry, and range of motion. A sports massage can improve the quality of posture, too. Anyone who engages in physical activity can benefit from this type of therapy, especially when used regularly as part of your conditioning program. Learn more about the health advantages of sports massage available in many modern spas.
Improve Tissue Permeability
Undergoing deep tissue massages improve tissue permeability in the body. As the skin and under layers are manipulated through specific therapy techniques, the pores in the tissue membranes open, allowing nutrients and fluids to pass through more easily. Improved permeability helps to flush out harmful waste products, and supports the muscles in the absorption of nutrients and oxygen, which aid in recovery.
Boost Blood Circulation
A sports massage can also boost blood circulation all over the body. During a therapy session, the blood vessels are dilated or “stretched” to allow more nutrients to pass through. These nutrients are then transported to worn or damaged muscles, increasing the speed of healing. Improved blood circulation also helps to reduce swelling caused by physical activities. The pressure used during various techniques aids in lymphatic drainage.
Reduce Risk of Scar Tissue
Scar tissue can develop after an injury if the proper precautions are not taken. During the healing process, the injured muscle may gradually lose its elasticity and flexibility, causing the muscles to become stiff. Regular spa sessions during the healing process can help to separate the fibers and break down the developing scar tissue, while increasing flexibility in the affected area.
Aid in Pain Relief and Relaxation
Depending on the severity of the injury, pain and discomfort can linger for days or weeks. Sports massages can aid in pain relief by reducing tension in the body often responsible for pain. Therapy can also release chemicals called endorphins in the body, which interact with the receptors in your brain to decrease your perception of pain. Once your pain is diminished, the stretching and warmth of the muscles can promote relaxation.
Prevent Further Injury through Stretching
It's not possible to stretch all muscles through exercise alone. However, an experienced masseur is sometimes able to stretch tightened or overworked muscles that can not be properly worked through physical activities. Through proper stretching and strengthening of these fibers, any built-up tension can be relieved, and the risk of future injuries is reduced.
Increase in Body Awareness
Body awareness understands understanding how your body moves and where it moves within a defined space. Sports massages found at many spas help to improve nervous system function, which provides athletes with a better awareness of their own bodies. Increased body awareness can also lead to better self-confidence and a positive body image.
If you've suffered from an injury or are dealing with soreness, swelling, or discomfort in the aftermath of engaging in physical activity, a sports massage may help. For more information, contact spas in your area that offer this therapy treatment.