When it comes to preventing injury, massage therapy has become as important to serious athletes as warming up and stretching. Professional sporting teams and athletes all over the world utilise massage therapy as a way of readying themselves for activity, and to maintain a healthy state after performing.
The most common types of sports injuries are caused by overusing, directly impacting, or applying a level of force that is too much for the body part to handle.1
Massage treatments assist in preventing these injuries from occurring through bodywork techniques that promote the healthy functioning of the muscles, joints, and other bodily systems.
How Massage Can Prevent Injury
One of the ways in which an injury can occur is when muscles that are too tight or restricted become overworked.
Small bundles of muscle fibres can become tense and form adhesions, which inhibit range of motion. During exercise, intense movement of these restricted areas can cause the muscle to damage more easily than normal.2
Massage techniques, such as deep tissue massage, manipulate the muscle and increase the temperature of these adhesions, allowing them to break down faster. This results in the affected muscle loosening and increasing the range of motion in that area, lowering the risk of injury.
As well as breaking down adhesions, manipulating the muscle tissue during massage helps to loosen, stretch and relax the body. The loosening and relaxing of muscle tension increases movement and reduces restriction, helping to prevent injury by conditioning the muscles and preparing them for intense activity.
Massage also helps in maintaining healthy muscles
During a massage, the increase in blood flow provides more oxygen and nutrients to muscles that are in need, helping to preserve their health. Healthy muscles are less likely to become weak and fatigued, a common cause of injury.3
An increase in the circulation of lymph through the lymphatic system also helps in preventing muscular fatigue. This system is what pushes excess fluids and waste in the direction of glands, removing them from your body. It also helps to remove lactic acid from the muscle.
Massage treatments are also an important aspect of preventing injury after a sporting event or physical activity. The pain and stiffness that comes after working out or exercising can prevent you from moving freely and can lead to injury. Receiving a massage after an event can help to loosen the body, flush out negative toxins, and reduce recovery time.
If you'd like to find out more about the benefits of massage therapy for injury prevention, get in contact with us and we can create a plan that’s right for you!