Sports Massage at Back to Active Osteopathy
Back to Active offers high quality, effective Sports Massage treatment in Farnham, Surrey. Our therapist is highly skilled and has years of experience working in both high-level elite sports and the general sporting population. Although originally developed to maximise the performance of athletes, sports massage is beneficial for non-athletes helping restore balance to the musculoskeletal system and to help treat some soft tissue injuries.
What is Sports Massage?
Sports Massage is a form of massage originally developed for athletes that involve working with their soft tissues to correct imbalances and problems caused by the repetitive nature of strenuous physical activity and trauma. Soft tissue is connective tissue including muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia and is manipulated by sports therapists using a verity of techniques including:
- Effleurage – Long stroking movements using varying pressure and speed used predominantly to warm up the muscles, increase blood and lymphatic flow aiding removal of waste products and stimulate the peripheral nerves.
- Petrissage – Kneading movements that compress and release the soft tissue. It is used to stretch the muscle fibers, relax muscles and increase the mobility of other tissues.
- Frictions – Small movements applied over small areas of the skin that are usually done with the pads of the hands, finger or thumbs to achieve a deep massage. This is used to break down scar tissue, stimulate healing, realign new scar tissue and separate adhesions (small areas of chronically contracted muscle fibers).
- Myofascial Release – Gentle sustained pressure of the soft tissue to eliminate pain and restore movement.
- Tapotement- Rhythmical alternative small strikes to the skin with the side of the hands or cupped hands. This stimulates the superficial tissue encouraging blood flow and stimulating the peripheral nerves.
- Muscle Energy Techniques – Gentle stretching technique using muscle contractions of the athlete to relax and lengthen muscle tissue and fascia.
Types of sports massage
A sports massage is of most benefit a few hours to a couple of days after a hard training session or a demanding sporting event to help correct any imbalances in the soft tissue and relax the nervous system. However, pre-event sports and post-event massages can also be useful in the warm up and recovery from an event.
A pre-event massage ideally would take place around 30 minutes and last a maximum of 20 minutes before an event. This should consist of a very light massage using predominantly effleurage and tapotement which primary aim should be to “wake up” the nervous system and warm up the muscles. No deep tissue techniques should be used as these have been shown to reduce muscle performance.
A post-event massage takes place straight after the event and should last 20-40 minutes. It aims to improve circulation and lymphatic drainage to engorge the removal of waste products such as lactic acid. It can use deeper massage technique than pre-event massage and usually involves some stretching.
Like any change in the training program, you should aim to trial a massage before your event, especially if you're keen to have a pre-event massage. Pick a point at least two weeks out from your event and try and arrange a massage directly before a hard training session letting your therapist know you want a pre-event massage. The reason for this is that some athletes can feel “sluggish and heavy” after a massage and like new running shoes, new goggles or a new gel or energy drink it is always important never to experiment with these things on race day. Similarly, it is not a good idea to train straight after a massage - let your body relax and the benefits of the massage take effect!
Who can benefit from sports massage?
Sports massage can benefit nearly everyone, especially those that are physically active.
Sports massage therapy is not only beneficial in the treatment of muscular injury but is also useful as a preventative measure. If you are a runner, triathlete, swimmer, rugby player, rower, climber, kayaker, cross-fitter or just keen on staying in shape, this therapy is particularly suitable for you. Our skilled sports massage therapist applies a variety of soft tissue techniques, myofascial release techniques and muscle energy techniques to ease muscle aches and pains.
Why Choose Back to Active for a Sports Massage?
At Back to Active our sports massage therapist is highly qualified and experienced not only as a therapist but also as a national level athlete and coach. As such he has a wealth of knowledge and can advise you on how best to add sports massage effectively into your training program to best get the benefits of:
- Optimisation of recovery and decreased tightness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs)
- Reduction in injury rates and getting over “niggles” more quickly
- Increased joint range of motion and greater flexibility of the muscles
- Reduction in pain and relaxing tight muscles.
- Improved tissue health by increasing fluid movement.
- Damage and imbalances in deep tissues are detected earlier and are corrected before an injury occurs.
So don't delay and book a sports massage with Back to Active today!
Give us a call to set up an appointment with our Sports Massage Therapist.
Check out our list of prices here.