Though extremely beneficial for a whole variety of different reasons, sports and physical exercise and activity are not without their risks. Obviously taking part in sports and physical exercise is extremely beneficial as it will allow you to burn calories, strengthen your muscles, manage your weight, improve your cardiovascular system, and much more besides. However, like most things in life, there are always risks and dangers and when playing sports and taking part in sporting events, it isn’t uncommon for individuals to pick up various injuries and ailments. Some of them are minor and are nothing more than minor inconveniences, whilst others could potentially be more serious. Whatever the injury may be, treating it and getting it taken care of as soon as possible should always be your main priority. Over the last few years, sports massage has proven incredibly popular and effective for dealing with a whole range of various sports injuries and for that reason we’ll now take a look at some of the more common sports injuries and how they can benefit from being treated via massage.
Knee injuries – Knee injuries are very common when it comes to various sports, with ACL tears proving especially common. ACL, or Anterior Cruciate Ligament, injuries have the potential to not only keep you side lined for several months, but they have been known to end careers so taking them serious is essential. Sometimes surgery may be required with ACL injuries, but it is then the rehabilitation process that must be taken seriously. Recently, experts have found that sports massage therapy can be extremely beneficial for knee injuries as it has been found to help break down scar tissue located underneath the knee, which could be causing painful inflammation and inhibited mobility as well. Deep tissue massage is especially beneficial for these types of injuries as it also improves circulation, allowing for a greater supply of oxygen and nutrients to the afflicted area, thus improving the overall recovery process.
Watch Video of How to Give a Massage: Techniques of Sports Massage Therapy : Preventing ACL Injury: Sports Massage Therapy & PNF Stretching Techniques
Rotator cuff injuries – Rotator cuff injuries in the shoulder are also very common in sports, particularly some of the more physical and hands on sports, as well as those incorporating weight lifting. Powerlifters for example, suffer from rotator cuff injuries pretty commonly due to the fact that they put their rotator cuffs under so much pressure due to the heavy loads that they lift. Again, deep tissue massage is ideal for these injuries as it breaks down scar tissue which causes inflammation and a lack of mobility, and improves circulation. The massage also improves flexibility as it relaxes tense muscles in other areas of the body, which may have been overcompensating due to the injured shoulder.
Lower back injuries – Lower back injuries are especially common amongst weight lifters, football and rugby players, and individuals engaging in sports which require them to move in different directions in sudden bursts of speed. Twisting and having to change direction all of a sudden, I.E trying to run past an opposing player, can result in nerve damage and torn muscles in the lower back. This in turn can lead to long-term issues such as sciatica or lumbago (acute lower back pain). By massaging the back, inflamed muscle and connective tissue can be broken up and can begin to relax, which in turn can lead to extreme pain reductions. Again, circulation is improved which not only aids in recovery, but can also increase athletic performance as it will allow more oxygen rich blood to be transported to the muscles. Massage therapy can also increase the release of endorphins, adrenalin, and other hormones which can assist with pain relief and enhance mental and physical energy levels and focus as well.