When you think of visiting a massage therapist, you might immediately think of a session that can help you to relax. While massage therapists can also effectively treat a long list of health issues, such as back and neck pain, there's no denying that a lot of people seek this type of treatment for stress relief and relaxation. If you visit a sports massage therapist, it will be a slightly different experience. They'll use various techniques to treat your body, and while you might feel somewhat relaxed afterward, relaxation isn't generally the primary goal. Here are three common goals of a sports massage.
Range Of Motion
Improving your range of motion will allow you to excel in your athletic discipline. If you're a jogger, for example, improving the range of motion in your hips will allow you to take longer strides. If you're a softball pitcher, a better range of motion in your shoulders may help you to throw the ball harder. Sports massage sessions often involve specific techniques that can help with the client's range of motion. For example, if you have muscle tightness in specific areas that is affecting your performance, your therapist will devote a lot of attention to these areas.
Sports Injury Care
A lot of athletes turn to sports massage as a way to get care for acute injuries they've suffered during their sports activities. The right massage techniques can help to improve blood flow to certain areas. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients, both of which are instrumental to the healing process. If you have an injury, speak to your massage therapist about it when you arrive for your treatment. They'll spend a good part of the session working on this area, improving blood flow in the process.
While many athletes book sports massages in the days and weeks prior to their events, others rely on this type of treatment after they've competed in the event. If you've just had a particularly challenging athletic endeavor—participation in a triathlon, for example—there's little question that your body will be sore in various areas. You don't want this pain to endure longer than necessary, as it can impede your ability to resume training for your next events. Sports massage can help with your recovery time, giving you a rejuvenated and limber-feeling body that allows you to get back to your training. Look online at some massage clinic websites to find one that offers sports massage sessions.
Contact a local massage service, such as Canopy Clinic PDX, to learn more.