Sports Physiotherapy/Massage is the specialized branch of physiotherapy which deals with injuries, their prevention, and issues related to sports people.
Sports massage prepares the athlete for their best performance, relieves muscle swelling, reduces fatigue, and relieves muscle tension.
In a hard, workout, muscle tension builds up in the body’s soft tissues. Due to overextension or overuse, minor injuries and lesions occur in these tissues that can cause a great deal of pain and poor athletic performance.
Sports massage helps alleviate pain and prevent such injuries that greatly affect flexibility, mobility, response time, and overall performance in athletic events.
Heavily exercised muscles may also lose their capacity to relax causing chronically tight muscles, and loss of flexibility. Lack of flexibility is often linked to muscle soreness, and predisposes athletes to injuries– especially muscle pulls and tears. Blood flow through tight muscles is poor (ischemia), which also causes pain.
A regular routine of massage therapy is very effective in combating these effects of heavy exercised muscles. Sports massage should be applied before and after athletic events, with many “maintenance” sessions in-between meets or competitions.
Pre-event sports massage is focuses on warming-up the major muscles to be used and improves tissue pliability. It also helps get the athlete in a good mental state for competition and prepares them to reach their athletic performance potential.
Post-event sports massage is given following an athletic event and is mainly focused upon recovery. This type of sports massage is geared toward reducing muscle spasms and metabolic build-up that occur with vigorous exercise.