Sports massage is quickly becoming one of the most sought after modalities of massage, especially in cities around the world like Portland that are filled with active adults and athletes.
What are the most common sports injuries?*
Hip Flexor Strain– The group of muscles that run from the low-back to the front of the hip, down the inside of your upper leg to your knees. These muscles help you to pull or flex your leg up toward your chest.
Hamstring Strain– The group of muscles running down the back of the upper leg. These muscles help to flex the knee joint and extend the leg to the back of the body.
Shin Splints– Shin splints affect the muscles and tendons around your tibia bone in your lower leg. They are caused by overuse of the muscle, resulting in microtears and inflammation.
Tennis/Golf Elbow– Tennis Elbow, a common form of tendonitis, is very similar to Shin Splints. Caused by overuse and repetitive motion, tennis elbow affects the tendons of the arm as well as the muscle, resulting in inflammation, pain and tenderness in the area.
Sciatica– The sciatic nerve begins in your low back, running through your hips and buttocks and down the back of each leg. Sciatica is caused by compression or pressure on the sciatic nerve by herniated discs. Sciatica, as a sports injury, commonly affects cyclists and runners.
What to expect in a Sports Massage
Contrary to popular belief, deep tissue massage is not always the modality your massage therapist will use, instead they will incorporate many different massage techniques such as deep tissue, Swedish, myofascial release, trigger point, and cross-fiber friction. Cupping is also a great tool for sports massage. Think Michael Phelps at the 2016 Olympics.
Sports massage is a very focused and site-specific type of massage so your therapist will spend a lot of time focusing on the muscles that are the most stressed and overused. The general goals of sports massage are to reduce inflammation and cramping, improve range of motion, speed up healing while shortening recovery time, increase oxygen and blood flow to the muscles, break down adhesions and scar tissue and eliminate lactic and carbonic acid build up in the muscles.
When is the best time to get a Sports Massage?
The techniques used during your sports massage will vary greatly depending on when you schedule it. If you plan on scheduling your sports massage before an event or to treat specific pain, it is recommended to do so a couple of days in advance. If you’re scheduling for after an event or to decrease recovery time or soreness, you should plan on getting a massage within a few hours to a day or two after finishing the event. Some ligament and joint injuries can become aggravated by massage, so if you are feeling abnormal levels of pain, or if you know you have an acute injury, consult with a doctor before getting a sports massage.
Sports massage is a great tool to add to your training routine if you really want to experience the best results for your body. Here at East Bridge Massage, many of our therapists have been competitive athletes and are inspired to give the best sports massage therapy treatments. Our therapists have experienced first hand the power of massage for injury recovery.
*McEvoy ,Brian, PT, UnityPoint Health
“”Top 10 Most Common Sports Injuries”” (n.d)