3 Massage Therapy Techniques for Athletes

Sports massage therapy can be essential for athletes who need to recover from injury quickly. Everyday training can put the body under a lot of stress, which eventually contributes to pain and injuries. Various massage therapy techniques do effectively reduce muscle stiffness and help a speedy recovery. Here’s a few most-effective options for athletes.

Acute Stretching

Acute stretching is one of the best massage therapy techniques for athletes. The use of acute stretching prior to the beginning of a workout routine warms up the muscles, increases the range of motion and reduces the risk of injuries during a training session.

While there are two camps when it comes to stretching before a workout, the benefits of the technique are becoming more widely accepted. Several clinical studies suggest that stretching before exercise plays a paramount role in injury prevention. The very same applies to chronic stretching after an exercise session is finished.

One study carried out in Japan had people undergoing military training divided in two groups. Members of the first group were asked to stretch before and after the training session. Members of the control group did not stretch at all. From this experiment, researchers found that people who had stretched before and after training had a 66 percent lower occurrence of musculoskeletal injuries compared to the control group. Positive effects were directly linked to acute and chronic stretching routines, and when done correctly, acute stretching can increase the strength of an athlete.

Deep Tissue Massage

Athletes can also see profound benefits from deep tissue massages. This technique ranks high among massage therapy techniques crucial for soft tissue recovery. Deep tissue massages can alleviate the pain after a workout, improve circulation, oxygenate muscles during training and reduce the risk of injuries. Regular deep tissue massages allow for faster muscle recovery and lower post-workout pain. Additionally, stretching of tissues during massage sessions can increase flexibility and improve the sleep quality for athletes.

Active Release Technique

Active release technique or ART is a great option for runners and other athletes. It combines the local use of pressure and hand movements to relieve pressure and tension in the most effective way. When performing an ART massage, the therapist will use their hands to assess tissue stiffness and apply just enough pressure where it’s needed. This type of massage is particularly suitable for treatment of injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbows and hamstring injuries.

The technique can also be used to address tendon, ligament and nerve issues. Any overuse of these can result in pain or serious injuries. After an assessment of the tissue takes place, the therapist will use precisely directed tension and patient movements to deal with stiffness, reduced range of motion, the accumulation of small tears in the region or poor oxygenation.

Most active athletes partner up with an experienced therapist to enhance their post-workout recovery. If you’re looking for an excellent team of massage therapists, contact us today for free consultation.