Dealing with Sports Injuries
Massage for Sports Injuries Management.
Massage is a great way of preventing and treating injuries resulting from sporting activities.
Massage therapy is an integral part of training and is often included in modern sports training routines. Athletes and trainers believe that regular therapeutic massages can provide the extra edge required for high performance sports men and women. It has also become a increasingly popular alternative therapy for the treatment of injuries arising through sporting activities
Regular exercise increases muscular endurance and strength, improves flexibility and respiratory function and enhances heart efficiency. The body adapts gradually to the demand of physical activities as a result of conditioning. Conditioning involves three phases: the tearing down phase where the body is pushed to its limit; the recovery phase where the body rebuilds itself, and, lastly, the build-up phase where the systems adapt to the new demands placed on the body.
Massage is a particularly effective way of dealing with the injuries that occur in the tearing down phase. Massage before conditioning training as part of the regular workout regime should be administered after a warm up session. A good warm up will increase the temperature of muscles which work better at a temperature of 40 degrees. Blood flow and oxygen to muscles will be increased as will the speed of nerve impulses, making you faster. There will also be an increased range of motion at joints reducing the risk of tearing muscles and ligaments.
Massage can also help to prevent common injuries when administered after a strenuous training session as it helps to return the muscles to their relaxed state. Massage provides relief particularly where sports injuries such as sprains and strains. Sports Massage also commonly focusses on trigger points. “Trigger points” are not bruises but are commonly thought of as knots in the muscles, or points of tension. Trigger points are painful to the touch. Massage helps to relieve the tension by relaxing the muscle groups involved.
Several techniques are applied in an effective massage for sports injuries and vary on the type of injury. The rhythmic compression of muscle groups is used in the creation of deep hyperemia. It also has the effect of softening the tissues and is used in warming the body up for a deeper massage. Friction techniques are also used, which can broaden and stretch larger muscle groups. These techniques are also used on connective tissue. The application of deep transverse friction helps improve the healing process in the muscles as well as connective tissue. Trigger point pressure is relieved through thumb or finger pressure techniques. These techniques are effective for the reduction of hypersensitivity, pain and muscle spasms that are experienced at trigger points. This can help prevent a future injury because it will prevent the athlete from instinctively favoring one limb over the other due to painful trigger points, and from other knee-jerk reactions while on the field or track. Sports Massage techniques essentially allows athletes to heal faster from injuries by improving circulation to the injured area. Massage also increases flexibility and the range of motion of athletes, reducing the occurrence of injuries.
A post-exercise massage helps to remove waste products such as lactic acid which build up during exercise, and prevent blood pooling. It will also help stretch the muscles and return them to their pre-exercise state!