Sports massages—sometimes known as clinical or orthopedic massages—can come in many different types, and involve a variety of techniques. These typically help athletes recover from pain or injury, or help prevent potential injuries from occurring. Better yet, it can also help athletes recover more easily after they have finished training for the day. But what else can it do for athletes? And what should we know about them that we don’t already?
Here are three things you should know about sports massages!
What Are the Most Common Types of Sports Massages?
In order to properly give clients a sports massage, you must first decide which technique is the most appropriate one for that client’s needs. Based on the client’s chosen sport and how often they stay active, a massage therapist will tailor their techniques to that client. According to a review from the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, there are five categories for common massage techniques: effleurage (stroking), friction (circular or linear strokes), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (light striking movements), and vibration (shaking for the muscles). Other techniques can include compression, cross-fibre friction, direct pressure, and range of motion. With each one, the goal is to help with athletic performance, as well as achieve any other goals set out for the athlete’s treatment. These can include the desire for greater strength, flexibility, blood flow, and/or endurance.
What Are the Kinds of Benefits it Gives to Clients?
Those with a massage therapist career should know that sports massages have a number of benefits for the client receiving it. For example, it can help them get their bodies in better condition for optimal performance, both prior and during training. It can also strengthen muscles that are weaker, as well as help make them more flexible. Sports massages are also a helpful part of the athlete’s recovery process, in that it helps limit the amount of lactic acid present in the body to allow for more oxygen. If the athlete has suffered an injury, a massage can be used as a tool to evaluate what the issue may be, after which the massage therapist can determine which technique is best to facilitate the recovery process.
What Else Should Those with a Massage Therapist Career Know?
While those in massage therapy training will learn various types of massage techniques during their studies and in their career, there are numerous other factors they must consider aside from how they can heal muscles and prevent athletes from future injury. This is especially true with sports massages. For one, they should recognize that a sports massage isn’t for everyone; in fact, it should not be given to certain people, such as pregnant women or those with blood disorders. Secondly, sports massages are not limited to athletes competing in events. They can be given to people who are generally physically active, in order to help address tight muscles, aches, and relieve stress.
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