5151 South Lakeland Drive, Suite 6
South Lakeland, FL 33813
The Massage Center – Lakeland delivers fourteen different massage therapy treatments. One of the more popular modalities is the sports massage treatment, known as the Athletic Choice. This particular full body massage can be customized for athletes of every level. From those who have not worked out in decades and are sore from a jog up the stairs, to those who are training for a major event.
A sports massage is a collection of massage techniques aimed at relieving muscle and joint pain for athletes whose physical feats often leave them sore and fatigued. To address these issues and to keep a competitive edge, it isn’t uncommon for professional athletes have their own personal massage therapists with a thorough understanding of sports medicine, physiology, and anatomy. Nor is it rare that professional organizations have a team of massage therapists on the sideline before, during, and after games to prep athletes for competition or facilitate them in postgame recovery.
But you don’t need to be a professional athlete in peak physical condition to benefit from a sports massage. Anyone in the Lakeland undergoing regular physical activity and experiencing pain or soreness can benefit from the techniques applied during a sports massage, which may be the critical element needed to get back into the game and achieve victory.
The techniques of sports massage are not very different from the techniques of other popular massages like the Swedish massage. However, massage therapists working with athletes are aware of the muscle and joint areas that need the most attention. Accordingly, the therapist might use an array of different strokes of different pressures on different areas of the body. The therapist will also adjust the treatment according to when the athlete needs it: either before the athletic activity or after. Here are four generalized techniques that sports massage therapists commonly employ:
- Effleurage: Hand strokes that follow the contour of the body and vary in pressure and speed. The strokes are administered in the direction of lymph and venous flow and are meant to soothe pain and soreness, assist circulation, stretch muscle and fascia (fibrous connective tissue surrounding muscles), and relax the client.
- Petrissage: Hand strokes that lift, knead, compress, and then release muscle tissue. Petrissage can be either stimulating or relaxing and aims to remove metabolic waste that builds up in muscle tissue during strenuous activity. The stroke also helps to improve circulation, plus reduce soreness and swelling.
- Tapotement: Also known as percussion, these are light to medium strikes to the body, using the hands. This is often a pre-event technique used to stimulate muscles. The massage therapist might also use a shaking motion of the hands to vibrate the muscles.
- Friction Massage: Deep, localized strokes applied with the fingertips or thumb either parallel to the direction of the muscle fibers or transversely (across the direction of the muscle fibers). Friction massage is also meant to reduce pain associated with “trigger points” (also called muscle knots), which are small nodules or bumps of hypersensitive skeletal muscle tissue.
While these techniques are common across many sports massage regimens, there are other, less common techniques like acupressure and hydrotherapy that can be performed depending on the athletic activity and anatomical areas in most need of attention. The great thing about sports massages is their applicability; from running to swimming to weightlifting, just about any exercise of any difficulty level can be complemented with a sports massage.
But a sports massage may be detrimental rather than beneficial if you have medical complications concerning muscle tissue or blood vessels, open wounds, or diseases. Consult your physician before receiving a sports massage.
Potential benefits of sports massage include reduced muscle and joint pain, expedited healing from muscle injury, and increased range of motion. In professional sports where time to practice and peak physical condition are at a premium, these effects may prove to be incredibly helpful. For the novice individual who exercises and subsequently experiences great pain or soreness, however, a sports massage may be even more valuable.
People unaccustomed to motions that lengthen muscles often report symptoms exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) that can severely reduce the person’s ability to return to those exercises. The various techniques of a sports massage can alleviate EIMD and help the client return to strenuous exercise. Similarly, a related phenomenon known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), muscle fatigue that sets in for several days after unfamiliar exercise, can be addressed with sports massage. Clients report in addition to these physical benefits psychological improvements in wellness, motivation, confidence, and feelings of control.
The Massage Center – Lakeland offers a phenomenal sports massage in the Athletic Choice. It is a treatment that addresses all needs, either pre-activity or post-activity. While much more research needs to be done on sports massages, they are proving to be effective complementary treatments for anyone from the superstar athlete to the average person looking to get fit.Dan Abella Content Writer The Massage Center