Have you ever heard of sports massage? When you are involved in a lot of physical activity, it can take a real toll on your body; sports injuries are often debilitating and difficult to recover from. Sports massage therapy promotes your body’s natural mechanism for healing itself, without the use of harmful and toxic drugs. For this reason, sports massage techniques have become a common treatment plan that occupational therapists and sports medicine doctors use for patients suffering for activity-involved injuries and ailments.
If you are unsure about using sports massage in your journey to overcome your injuries and to get healthy, consider some of the health benefits of therapeutic massages:
Six Benefits of Using Massage Therapy to Treat Sports Injuries
- Improving blood circulation to the injury.
The human body has the miraculous ability to heal itself. It does this through a incredible process of blood flow going to the injury and using the nutrients and oxygen that it carries to repair and rebuild the damaged tissue, on a cellular level.
When you use massage therapy on your injury, the massaging of the tissue in the injured area increases the flow of blood and lymph vessel activity. This is particularly important when your sports-related injury has caused you to have tight muscles in the injured area. When your muscular tissue is tight, is constricts blood flow to the area and prolongs the length of time it takes to heal itself. The massage techniques used in sports massage are designed to loosen tight muscles and make them more permeable to the vital blood flow that the injury needs to heal.
- Increased permeability of the damaged tissue.
While we’re on the subject of blood flow, when you get a great deep-tissue massage, the pores of your muscles are loosened and opened. This is not only important for getting the vital nutrients and blood flow to the injury (which we covered in the previous point), it also allows your body to remove the waste products produced by the injury, such as lactic acid. This allows the injured tissue to absorb more nutrients and oxygen, and enables it to heal faster and easier.
- Improved stretching of muscles.
Stretching out your muscles is vital regaining the flexibility and strength that you once had. However, some tightened muscles are difficult to stretch out, particularly when you are injured to begin with. When you get sports massage, the muscle fibers are stretched both longways and width-wise, which you would be unable to achieve through standard stretching techniques. Additionally, sports massage invigorates the sheath and fascia around the muscle, which improves healing of the muscle itself. The improved stretching of of the muscles not only improves the muscles ability to heal, it also releases tension and pressure that is built up, and helps your muscles regain mobility.
- Breaks down scar tissue from older injuries.
When you injure yourself, scar tissue builds up over the damaged tissue to sort of reinforce it. If you had an old injury that did not heal properly, the scar tissue that has built up over it might make it difficult to stretch the muscle, or to use it properly. The inflexibility that you’re subject to might make you more prone to sustain injuries, and make it more difficult to heal from them. Sports massage helps break down scar tissue, so your body is able to heal itself properly, no matter how old the injury is.
- Improved elasticity of the muscles
One common issue that athlete come across is that the muscles they work out the most become hard and inelastic, particularly if they do not warm up or cool down as they should afterwards. This creates a frustrating cycle where they work out harder, but without achieving any improvement. Massage helps reverse this issue and makes the muscles loose again.
- Improves micro-circulation
When you get a good invigorating massage, the blood vessels and dilated and stretched, which improves the passage of nutrients and oxygen. This improvement carries over to improve the flow of blood while you exercise as well!
When you work out, you put pressure on you body, which helps it change, tone and improve. However, the stress that you put on your body can also create damage. Getting sports massage improves the damage and helps your body heal itself.