- Posted by Multi-Care Medical
- On March 7, 2017
Massage therapy can be hugely beneficial to virtually anyone who takes part in it especially when it comes to injury rehabilitation. It can help to speed up healing and can actually help prevent re-injury in a variety of ways. In short, it aids athletes in healing completely.
There are a number of reasons massage therapy is a highly recommended part of many injury recovery plans.
General benefits of massage
Massage therapy is beneficial for athletes even if they haven’t injured themselves because it can help relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body.
Deep tissue massages are the most recommended option and they can help to release fluids and tension within the muscles. With this option, the results are generally delayed, but the following day athletes report feeling noticeably better.
Five ways massage can help athletes recover from injuries
In addition to the general benefits of massage, injured athletes can expect massage to help in these five ways as well.
- Better overall nutrition in the muscles. Put simply, the muscles will be healthier and circulation will be improved. During or after a massage, an athlete will have a boost in interchange of substances between the cells of the tissue and the blood. The result is increased tissue metabolism. Massage can help maximize nutrients and oxygen by increasing blood flow. Together this can all help the body repair itself.
- Improved muscle flexibility. The better an athlete’s range of motion and the more flexible their muscles are, the more power and performance they’ll have. This helps athletes work out more efficiently and to keep the intensity at a safe level. It also helps their body’s muscle-building to improve.
- Shortened recovery time. Lactic acid and carbonic acid are just two of the waste products that can build up within the muscles post-exercise. When circulation is increased to these muscles, they can more quickly get rid of these toxins and recovery time between workouts can be shortened.
- Help with preventing over-training. Muscles need to relax, and massage can help them do that. Sports massage also acts somewhat like a sedative on the athlete’s nervous system, which can help the syndrome known as “over-training.” When athletes over train, they can’t build muscles as effectively.
- Prevention of future injuries. When a massage therapist stretches the connective tissue, it helps improve the circulation to help prevent adhesions. It can also influence how much of certain chemicals are excreted, including phosphorous, sulfur, and nitrogen. These chemicals are all needed for the body’s tissue to repair itself.
The different types of massage therapy
There isn’t just a single type of massage therapy. In fact, there are literally hundreds of options. Here is a look at some of the most popular techniques often used for injury recovery.
- Swedish massage. This is what most people think of when they imagine massage. The purpose is to relax the whole body. Swedish massage therapists rub the muscles with long strokes, following the direction blood takes to get back to the heart. It can also be helpful to increase the level of oxygen in the blood, lowering muscle toxins, aiding flexibility, boosting circulation, and removing tension.
- Trigger point massage therapy. Trigger points are areas within muscle tissue that are tight and cause pain in a different part of the body. This option is geared toward getting rid of the source of pain. It uses a series of pressure and release maneuvers, during which the person being massaged actively participates by breathing deeply and noting where and how much it hurts.
- Deep tissue massage. This is similar to Swedish massage but, as the name implies, it users deeper pressure that helps to release tension even further. Deep tissue massage therapists focus on the deep layers of muscles and tendons.
- Sports massage. Specifically designed for athletes, sports massage techniques vary based on the sport the client plays. Generally, the sports massage therapist will focus on the areas of the body that athletes in that particular sport generally overuse.
Massage therapy can be very beneficial as a part of a comprehensive injury recovery plan for athletes and non-athletes alike. Please contact Multi-Care Medical for more information on injury recovery and massage therapies.