Sports have always been a big part of our lives, but never bigger than today. Professional sporting events are a massive global industry, and amateur sports are even bigger. People don’t want to just sit in the stands and watch – they want to participate! Whether it’s rock climbing, tennis, basketball, paddle boarding, or any other sport you care to mention, people are determined to get better. Friendly competition is healthy, and it’s more fun to get exercise while participating in a sport you care about, rather than putting yourself through endless boring workout routines.
But there’s another side to this story: As people try new sports, and work harder to improve their performance in sports they already know, injuries happen more often. Even if those injuries aren’t ‘acute’ right away, it’s easy for soreness and stiffness to gradually develop into nagging, chronic injuries that affect athletic performance – as well as daily life.
This is where sports massage can make a world of difference. It’s a collection of massage techniques designed specifically to assist athletes in their recovery from the rigors of training. Virtually every professional sports team in the world has massage therapists on call to treat their athletes, prevent costly injuries, and maximize performance. Individual superstars in sports like golf and tennis are also well known for including regular sports massage therapy session in their routines. You may not be playing on a professional stage, but the same benefits go a long way in your training and overall progress. If you’re serious about staying loose and healthy as you train, scheduling periodic sports massage therapy treatments is a sensible choice.
Strain and stiffness are inevitable when you bring high performance athletics into the picture, but the truth is, many amateur athletes and hobbyists also get equally injured or worn out, and aren’t able to participate in athletics as much as they would like to. A licensed sports massage therapist will work closely with you to ensure that existing problem areas are addressed, and that small problems don’t become big ones. Obviously, self-care is extremely important too. Things like hot mineral soaks, ice packs, and yoga stretches are also great for high performance athletics. There are some trigger point therapies that can be accomplished on your own, for example laying down with a lacrosse ball under your back. But a dedicated therapist is able to manipulate and sooth sore muscles more effectively, addressing trigger points and loosening up stiff areas.
It’s important to have a therapist with a friendly and professional approach, so that you can communicate effectively about any aches and pains, and discuss any injuries that may have occurred. Sports massage may be something you want to do every week or once every couple of months, when aches and pains happen. Either way, finding a good therapist to rely on is a good asset to have.
Where to turn for professional sports massage
Not all massage therapists are schooled or experienced in sports massage, and if you’re looking to get that athletic edge (and deep relaxation) that sports massage offers, it’s better to look for a skilled and trained professional who specializes in this area.