Sports Massage

Sports Massage is a not a specific type of massage like Swedish, Deep Tissue, or Gua Sha that one would ask to receive from a Licensed Massage Therapist. It is more appropriately the term used for specific applications of massage therapy for each individual client. Sports massage can be done for a professional or amateur athlete, as well as somebody who “just” works out, or does a treadmill stress test. For each individual, and even depending on the timing between certain activities they are involved in, you would treat them differently.

Types of Sports Massage

  • Pre-event (warm-up) Massage
  • Intercompetition Massage
  • Post-event Massage
  • Remedial, Rehabilitative, Medical, and Orthopedic Massage

Each type of Sports Massage is somewhat self-explanatory. However, each one has a particular way of how to approach the massage. If the massage is done at a sporting event, and for an array of athletes, each person should be given a consent form where the athletes can also share any health problems or concerns they have before receiving massage.

Pre-Event Massage

A pre-event massage is done for athletes before whatever sporting event they are about to participate in. The massage is meant to be stimulating, superficial, fast-paced, and rhythmic, and lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. The goal is to help the athlete feel their body is perfect physically. The emphasis is on the actual muscles that will be primarily used during the event and to create good circulation and flexibility. This type of massage can be given anywhere between 3 days prior to right before the event the athlete is performing in. Any rigorous, painful, or deep strokes or stretching are contraindicated, as the athlete does not want to have any soreness.

Intercompetition Massage

The purpose of intercompetition massage is to return the body back to a state of homeostasis, which is basically internal stability or normalcy, during breaks of an event. The concentration is on the muscles being used or about to be used. The techniques should be short, light, and focused.

Post-Event Massage

A post-event massage is typically done immediately following an event, but can be done within 24 hours of the event as well. If done at the event, the massage is quick paced and should be about 15 to 30 minutes long in order to help the athlete recover from the high-intensity exercise they were just participating in. The goal is to improve blood and lymphatic circulation, reduce muscle tension, and calm the athlete. The Massage Therapist should be aware of any injuries or signs of injuries to ensure the athlete is getting proper care.

Remedial, Rehabilitative, Medical, and Orthopedic Massage

Last, but not least, is the interrelated, combined massage types of remedial, rehabilitative, medical, and orthopedic massage. This type of massage is done after an injury has occurred or as part of postsurgical care. The techniques used are generally nonspecific and focus on reducing stress and promoting healing. Full body massage is common, in order to allow the whole body to work together in the healing process of the one area, and to treat areas that have been used to compensate for the injured area.

Even though this blog is focused mostly on performing athletes, these styles of massage can be done for all people who participate in regular exercise or who have just gone in for a stress test. The focus will be different in some ways, but the general goal is to create homeostasis, circulation of blood and the lymphatic system, and to reduce stress. So,

Many of you athletes out there looking to better your athletic performance, come in to Active Family Chiropractic and see any of our massage therapists who are trained in Sports Massage. Also, don’t forget that Dr. Waggoner is a Sports Injury Specialist.

We look forward to helping you in your next sporting event!