Sports massage is designed to help athletes maximize their performance and reduce injuries; it can also treat injuries when they occur. At Massage Therapy of Oak Park, a sports massage incorporates myofascial release, deep muscle therapy (i.e., deep tissue massage) and trigger point therapy to address the common types of overuse patterns that occur in athletes. This type of bodywork can improve muscular function and speed recovery. Thus, sports massage is an excellent complementary treatment for those receiving physical therapy.
Who Can Benefit From Sports Massage
As a former high school track star and an avid skier who can be found telemarking in the fabled hills of Utah any chance he gets, Massage Therapy of Oak Park owner Rick Halle-Podell knows that athletes of any level can benefit from sports massage. Whether you are training for a marathon or simply beginning an exercise routine, sports massage can help you reach your competitive or fitness goals.
Benefits of Sports Massage
At Massage Therapy of Oak Park, our clients have seen the following benefits as a result of sports massage:
- Maximize performance
- Injury prevention
- Injury repair
- Pre-event preparation
- Post-event recovery
- Speed recovery between hard workouts
Types of Sports Massage
We work primarily on the muscles to be used in the event/competition. Massage enhances muscle performance by increasing blood circulation and reducing muscle tension, all while increasing an athlete’s overall flexibility. Our pre-event massages involve fast-paced, light, gentle rocking, shaking-out and warming-up of the muscles. Swedish massage techniques such as effleurage, compression, palmar friction, kneading and broad strokes are also incorporated. Additionally, we’ve found relaxation exercises increase range of motion and muscle flexibility, all plusses when preparing for an event.
Our goal with a post-event massage is to reduce muscle swelling/inflammation and tension, while proactively helping the body reduce any soreness. Massage spreads muscle fibers, relaxes muscles and reduces cramping, as well as assists the lymphatic system in removing waste material (which is why we always tell clients to drink water after a massage!). Our licensed massage therapists may apply ice to interrupt spasms, or to alleviate sprains and cramps. We also employ resistance stretching at the end of a post-event massage.
We encourage maintenance massages as a means of minimizing or healing sprains, strains, adhesions, spasms and scar tissue. Any of these injuries can greatly diminish the ability of a muscle to perform or move through an optimal range of motion. Besides maintaining or possibly increasing athletic performance, massage therapy can help a body repair damaged joints, ligaments and muscles.