Massages can help relieve pain after a sports injury and help you recover faster. This recovery massage must be performed soon after the injury to reduce pain and muscle tightness and to help speed up recovery. Speeding up recovery is one of the primary goals of a recovery massage. However, recovery massages are also beneficial for a variety of other reasons. Following an injury, muscles can become sore and stiff, and massaging them helps to delay this soreness and encourages the muscles and body to relax.
Psychological benefits of a recovery massage
The benefits of a recovery massage are not limited to the muscles and recovery time. Recent research shows that massages dilate the vessels of the skin and muscles, allowing improved flow to the site of the injury and to the tense muscles of the body. This produces a sense of overall relaxation after the injury, which is important as the body can be disrupted. It may seem painful; however, the body will feel the relaxation effects following the treatment. When the body is relaxed, it heals faster, and the person can perform better when they take part in sports again.
Techniques used by the massage therapist
This all depends on how quickly you decide to have a massage following your injury. If this massage takes place between 30 minutes and 24 hours following an injury, the therapist will use a lighter hand when massaging. These softer techniques are actually known as effleurage and petrissage and trigger particular points of the nervous system involved in signalling pain. In combination, these techniques relax the injured muscles and improve blood supply to the area. Ice packs may also be applied to areas of soreness.
If, however, it takes longer than 24 hours for the affected person to see a qualified massage therapist, then deeper massage techniques will have to be used. These cause more pain but are necessary to help release tightness that has built up inside the muscles. The longer it takes to seek treatment, the tighter the muscles can get.
When making a booking for a recovery massage, ensure that you explain all details of your injury. There are some injuries for which a recovery massage is not suitable, and the therapist will let you know if this is the case. Do your research and look for massage therapists who specialise in massages following sports injuries; this way you will be getting the most benefits from your treatment.