Being a great athlete isn’t just about practicing on the court, it’s also about keeping your body healthy. In interviews, most star athletes say that massage therapy is part of their usual pre-game routine.
Massage therapy has helped tons of athletes stay in shape, improve performance and relieve pain. You don’t have to be Lebron James or Michael Jordan to reap the benefits of this treatment. Massage therapy can help you be your best self in and out of the game.
Whether you play football, basketball, soccer, tennis, or track and field, training can be hard on the body. Most practices last for hours, and they occur at least five days a week. The massaging technique removes waste out of the body, including lactic acid build-up that a lot of athletes suffer from. A massage treats muscle tension and promotes healing of the tissues, muscles, and joints.
Regular massage therapy strengthens the cardiovascular system, which has great benefits for the heart. Massages also serve as a great post-game option because it lowers the heart rate, leaving the player relaxed.
As an athlete, you expect your body to score points, take you from one base to the other, and make slam-dunks. How do you tell your body “thank you”? A Sports Massage, also known as Deep Tissue Massage, will prepare you for peak performance and help your body recover.
There are many reasons to get a Sports Massage. Today’s athletes expect the most out of their bodies. To always perform at maximum efficiency. This can cause serious stress to be put on the body which in turn can cause muscle fatigue and even serious injury.
Sports massage therapy is a specialized massage therapy that identifies the muscle group in need of repair and works to minimize the stress put on the body by aggressive training. At Zen Massage, we help athletes maintain peak efficiency and recovery with targeted sports massage therapy at our Salt Lake City massage studio.
1. Reduce Pain
Soft tissue massage can be used to help reduce pain caused by injury or soreness caused by intensive training. A variety of research demonstrates the positive impact of massage on pain levels when combined with exercises and manual therapy techniques.
2. Release Muscle Tension
Certain exercises for long periods can create stress on the body, which can create trigger points and tension in the muscles. Having massage regularly helps optimize your tissue’s pliability and increase your range of movement, thereby reducing the risk of injury.
3. Good Posture
Spending every day at work maintaining the same posture and engaging the same muscles over and over again can cause muscles to shorten and pull your joints. Which over time can reduce function and increase your chances of overuse and repetitive strain injuries. Sports massage can help to release these muscles and counteract the negative effects of bad posture.
4. Accelerate Recovery & Improve Training
Ache after training? Massage is a great way to help reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), basically soreness after exercise….massage may help recovery by increasing the blood circulation to the area and help to flush out the toxins that build up during exercise. Resulting in the improvement of recovery and helping you get ready for your next exercise.
Though not generally thought of as relaxing, Sports massage does help to reduce general anxiety by releasing tension. As the body releases and reduces physical tension, the mind follows, bringing about a great feeling of well-being and relaxation.
Book your Sports Massage with the best masseurs in SLC today!
Whether you’re a bunny slope newbie or a double black diamond pro, skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy winter. But nursing a twisted ankle or bad back does not make for an enjoyable ski experience.
If you want to stay injury-free while enjoying long days out on the slopes this ski season, consider massage therapy. Massage can be a great solution for your aching muscles after a hard day of skiing and can improve your athletic performance.
We know that a week spent happily shredding fresh powder comes with its own set of aches and pains. Sometimes ignoring those pains for too long can even lead to more serious injuries. It’s important to stop pain in the early stages to prevent it from becoming a bigger problem, and massage can help you do just that.
Common Skiing Injuries
Although skiing is quite popular around the world, it’s one of the most injury-prone recreational sports that Americans engage in on a regular basis. The most common skiing mishap is knee injury—accounting for about 35% of all skiing related injuries—often caused by a twisting motion while falling. Upper body injuries like sprained thumbs and shoulder injuries are also all too common.
Injury Prevention for Skiers
There are a variety of ways to prevent injuries on the slopes. Enhancing your fitness level before ski season will help with flexibility, strength, and balance (fewer wipeouts = fewer injuries).
Regardless, you’re still likely to have sore spots and aches from the physical rigor of a hard day of skiing. So, what can you do to speed up your recovery time and prevent major injury?
Benefits of Massage for Skiers
Massage therapy has a long list of benefits for skiers who want to recuperate quickly so they can get back out and perform their best on the powder. In fact, getting a massage in the middle of a typical ski week could be just the tune-up that your body needs to run at its optimal level. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, research shows that massage therapy can:
1. Decrease muscles soreness and tension
Sports massage helps you relax those tired muscles after a hard day skiing.
2. Reduce recovery time from an injury
Deep tissue massage promotes muscle healing after strenuous activity, allowing you to get back on the slopes sooner.
3. Improve muscle flexibility
Massage can make you more limber, which can help prevent common skiing injuries.
4. Improve circulation
Swedish massage techniques improve blood flow, keeping you warm and your muscles oxygenated.
5. Improve joint range of motion
Sports massage techniques target tissues and ligaments around joints, providing you with more mobility when chasing your buddy down the slope.
6. Increase relaxation and improve sleep quality
You’ll rest easy after a soothing massage post-ski, according to AMTA research.
7. Reduce anxiety
The calming effect of massage can also alleviate any anxiety you may be dealing with, like paying for that speeding ticket you got on the way to the ski resort.
8. Lower blood pressure
You can improve your heart health with stress-busting Swedish massage.
9. Improve proprioception (awareness of body positioning)
Sports massage techniques can help improve your body awareness, essential for when you’re flying past trees, bunny slope skiers, or other obstacles on the slopes.
10. Promote connective tissue healing
With faster recovery time, you can look forward to getting back on your skis the day after a massage.
Types of Massage for Skiers
Skiers can benefit from a variety of massage specialties, including deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, and sports massage. Pre-ski trip massage can help warm the muscles up and ensure they are loose and ready to function their best. Post-ski massage is an essential tool for relieving muscle and joint soreness.
While you’re planning that ski trip with your friends to Park City be sure to book everyone a massage after a day out on the slopes. Your friends—and your tired muscles—will be sure to thank you for it.
This area of the body has garnered some skiing notoriety, for good reason: the knee.
How Can Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage Help Rehabilitate Knee Injuries for Skiers? Knee injuries account for 30-40% of all reported skiing injuries. Because of the amount of landing and cutting, with sudden changes of direction, skiing puts a lot of pressure on your muscles and joints, particularly the hips and knees. And when muscle imbalances exist, injury can occur. For example, uncontrolled landings play a large role in skiing injury; if your hip abductors and muscles of the pelvis have a propensity towards tightness, they are unable to fully stabilize your body in a landing or a fall. This leaves the lion’s share of responsibility for stabilization to your knees. And that’s not what they are built for. At high speed, a sudden twist or turn to attempt to avoid a crash or soften a landing will impact the most vulnerable body part involved in such movement, often resulting in knee ligament tears or strains. This is one of the reasons why a strength-training regimen is so important for creating muscular balance for skiers. Building up strength in the larger muscles in the inner and outer thighs provides a better network of support for the smaller, more volatile ligaments surrounding and supporting your knee, and helps ensure stability and endurance in skiing. Pre-season exercises are key to developing muscle strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles. Most knee injuries that are incurred while skiing are ligament strains or tears. Symptoms often include pain, swelling, and a restricted range of motion around the injured ligament. Injuries are graded in severity; less severe strains may be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory measures, while more serious ruptures may require immobilization and even surgery.
How can Massage Therapy Help with Knee Injuries?
The Massage Therapy approach I best like taking is to nip knee injuries incurred through skiing right in the bud, before you even put on your goggles. Pre-season Sports Massage Therapy for skiers is pointed towards identifying and addressing any muscle imbalances. We will attempt to decrease hypertonicity in your hip abductors. We will keep your hamstrings flushed out and encourage strengthening exercises. We will release any tightness in your quadriceps. All of these measures help ensure that you are working with a proper, balanced body mechanism that will support healthy knee function. But what about receiving Massage Therapy treatment after a knee injury for the purpose of rehabilitation? When dealing with a strained or torn ligament, there’s not a lot that we can do directly to the acute injury source. However, we can employ Deep Tissue Massage to focus our work on creating change in the structure around it, by improving circulation to the outlying areas. We promote the healing process by keeping the soft tissue as healthy as possible. In addition, many people recovering from an injury feel generally uncomfortable; the pain and sudden state of immobilization can throw your nervous system into a state of chaos and frustration. Massage Therapy sedates the nervous system, promotes a healthy balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and helps your reaction to the injury not be so devastating. And of course, if you’re hobbling around on crutches, you may find yourself overworking previously underused upper body muscles! Your traps, lats, muscles of the shoulder, forearms, and wrists may suffer secondary consequences. So we can take care of those as well, in your Massage Therapy session. Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage can help keep you off those pesky crutches and on the slopes.
A massage after a vigorous workout unquestionably feels good, reduces pain and helps muscles recover. Athletes and health professionals speak of how it eases inflammation, improves blood flow and reduces muscle tightness.
So, how does massage give this beneficial effect?
Well, vigorous exercise causes tiny tears in our muscle fibers, leading to inflammation, which is an immune reaction, as our bodies get to work repairing the injured cells.
Researchers have found that when a masseur goes to work, the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation, are reduced. They also found that massage stimulated mitochondria, tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy. These are essential for cell function and repair and the stimulation helps our muscles adapt to the demands of increased exercise.
When your body aches, your muscles are tight, swollen, and in desperate need of release.
So when people ask, “Is deep tissue massage safe to get one while you’re still super sore? Or will that pressure make your tender muscles feel worse?”
Our short answer is usually, “Go for it!”
Because a post-workout massage is a great way to flush out the toxic waste your muscles produce during a workout. For the normal workout warrior getting a massage after working out is most beneficial for your body. It helps flush lactic acid build up out of muscle fiber and reduce recovery time.
On the other hand, if you are an athlete about to compete, an invigorating pre-competition massage is great to get you ready. Then a post-event massage to flush toxins and help you relax and recover afterward.
Really Really Sore?
Hold off on a strong, heavy-handed deep tissue massage. If your muscles are very tender to the touch, a traditional Swedish massage would be best because it stimulates blood and lymph circulation, bringing newly oxygenated blood to tender areas. This oxygenated blood helps “flush out” toxic waste in your muscles, which is the cause of typical soreness.
If the traditional Swedish massage turns out to be not enough for your muscle soreness, go for a stronger deep tissue or sports massage, but take note of how your body reacts.
If you feel pain mid-massage, ask your massage therapist to STOP to avoid irritating the muscles further!
You could get another massage as soon as two days after your first, but we recommend waiting five days. Drinking plenty of water and do light stretching to encourage full recovery. You should know that another massage won’t necessarily double-decrease your soreness over this short period of time.
Recovering from an injury?
If you’re injured, back away from the massage table!
There is a difference between being really sore and recovering from a true injury. If you’ve injured yourself recently, such as a pulled muscle, you should wait 24 to 48 hours before receiving a massage. In fact, a deep tissue massage could make matters worse for you and your injury. Instead, simply ice the tender areas and take a rest day to reduce the inflammation.
Every ache, pain, & sore muscle will react differently to massage. Some people may experience nearly instant relief post-massage, others might feel tender in trigger-point areas that were worked repeatedly during the massage. Whatever you’re feeling, as long as it’s not worsening or acute pain, you’re all good.
Repetitive motion injuries, such as Golfer’s Elbow, are on the rise.ï¿½
If you begin having an intense pain in your inner elbow and forearm, or have difficulty gripping and lifting things, you may be suffering from a condition known as golfer’s elbow,ï¿½which, occurs as a direct result of repetitive motion, generally done incorrectly, over a long period of time.
You don’t have to play golf to get golfer’s elbow
All of the above can cause Golferï¿½s Elbow or medial epicondylitis. It happens when repetitive motion irritates the common wrist flexor tendons near their elbow. The irritation causes pain and decreased functional use of your elbow.
For athletes, Golfer’s Elbow is often brought on by using the wrong equipment, like a golf club or tennis racket that is too heavy or that has a grip that is too large.
Symptoms typically include
Pain on the inner, or medial side of your elbow
Difficulty gripping and lifting items
Pain when flexing your wrist
The key to preventing golfer’s elbow is to avoid overuse. If you feel any pain in your elbow during an activity, stop before it gets worse.
A few sessions with your sports massage therapist may be in order to help you gain control of your condition and get back to normal activity.
Sports massage is beneficial for Golferï¿½s Elbow and for rehabilitation of previous injuries. At Zen Massage our therapists work on the injury location as well as on the muscle groups associated with the injury that may be causing additional pain from over-compensation due to the injury.
Stretches can also be helpful in controlling the symptoms of golfer’s elbow. These should be simple stretches and should not cause pain, and if they do they should beï¿½stopped until the pain resolves.
Exercises, also simple ones can be done to help strengthen the muscles and tendons involved with golfers’ elbow, by building up the muscles usingï¿½proper motions you can help prevent the problem from returning.
Golfer’s elbow usually heals with simple treatment, and does not cause any long-term elbow problems. Treatment is rarely surgical, as this condition is well managed with a little rest and proper treatment and rehabilitation.
Note: Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, should not be confused with tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis.
The massage therapists at ZEN Massage are ready to get you back in playing form. Contact us for Sports Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City