Nothing beats the exhilarating feeling that comes with playing sports. Sometimes, however, the rush it gives may keep athletes from recognizing injury, or even if they do, they keep playing so as not to pass up a chance for victory. Yes, a determined mindset may be the main ingredient for victory but it’s also important to note that the body has its limits too.
One of the top sports-related injuries is muscular strain resulting from overuse. According to the Pacific College of Medicine, heavily-used muscles tend to lose their ability to relax. The tightening and loss of flexibility is accompanied by soreness and muscle tears that eventually lead to stress fractures, a case when the muscle becomes overly fatigued and is no longer able to tolerate shock. The tight muscles also restrict blood flow, causing pain. A Vancouver RMT recommends a regular sports massage as an excellent way for athletes to fight the debilitating effects of strenuous exercises after a tough training session.
Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that’s focused on parts that hold most of the tension or are usually injured in sports, such as the glutes, shoulders, shins, lower back, and hamstrings. Although slightly painful since it uses high pressure, sports massage helps make the body less prone to sustaining injury by breaking up tension-causing lactic acid in the muscles. It loosens tight tissues and increases flexibility, helping speed up the body’s recovery from pain and injuries.
Sports massage is recommended for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) too. This is the intense soreness you experience that usually develops 12-24 hours after exercise, particularly if that exercise is different from what you regularly perform. Sports massage prevents the fatigue by promoting lymph and blood flow throughout the body. It also induces reflex relaxation by encouraging circulation and stimulating the body’s mechanoreceptors that sense warmth, touch, and pressure.
In addition, sports massage helps an athlete manage stress better by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s built-in pain reliever produced by the brain’s pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Aside from providing relief from pain, endorphins are also known to decrease anxiety and improve mood.
Sports massage is beneficial to athletes at all sports and all levels. It’s also ideal before and after performance, during the training, or for rehabilitation purposes. For a much-needed Vancouver RMT massage, visit clinics like Vancity Massage Therapy.
(Source: Benefits of Sports Massage, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine)