Massage Therapist In Tallahassee Discusses Benefits Of Sports Massage

Athletes of all levels are seeking massage therapy for not only injury prevention but also improving performance. People are figuring out, if they can release the knots in their muscles that their body will work better with fewer annoying strain or sprain injuries.  Most college and university sports teams have a massage therapist on staff or contract with a licensed Massage Therapist to help their athletes. 

Here are 4 benefits of sports massage:

1. Ease Muscle Tensions and Stresses

Tense muscles and chronic high levels of stress can really affect the quality of your health often leading to poor sleep, weakened immune system, and increased risk of strain or sprain muscle or spine injuries.  Studies indicate massage therapy can help lower cortisol levels (stress hormone) and even boost production of oxytocin, a hormone that relaxes and soothes the body, helping improve sleep quality and recovery. (1)

Sports massage works by several different stress relieving mechanisms including it's ability to dilate blood vessels (enlarge to decrease pressure on vessel walls), and decreases activity of the hypothalamus, which controls the autonomic nervous system regulation and cortisol release.  Therapeutic massage has been shown to boost the parasympathetic nervous system, "rest and digest", while turning off the sympathetic system, "fight or flight or competition" system. Balancing between the adrenaline sympathetic and resting parasympathetic body systems is important for training recovery.(2)

2. Back Pain Relief

A study published in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, compared two different massage techniques for treating chronic back pain, deep tissue massage versus therapeutic massage.  They discovered that sports or deep tissue treatment over a period of ten days resulted in significant decrease in back pain compared to relaxation massage. (3)

Similar findings by a 2014 study published in the Scientific World Journal found that sports massage treatment alone had just as much of a benefit on pain relief in patients with chronic symptoms compared to massage and NSAID painkillers used together (4)

3.  Injury Rehabilitation

Sports massages can aid injury rehab by breaking up recently formed scar tissue which can lead to stiffness and a slow recovery.  Therapeutic massage can also help reduce muscle spasms and inflammation by releasing trigger points, and increasing blood flow which brings oxygen to the injured areas.  After an injury, especially auto accident injuries, the stress and inflammation of the muscles prevents good blood flow from reaching the damages body parts.  This can stop oxygen and nutrients from helping to heal the area, leading to toxin buildup and more swelling and pressure on the nerves.  (5)

4. Improves Workout Recovery

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness reported research findings of a positive trend for sport massages for improved sport performances and recovery after workouts.  The most beneficial type of deep tissue massage for athletes is sports massage, which is typically done before a sporting event or workout to help warm up the muscles and prevent injuries or right after a competition to speed up recovery. (6)

For more information about Pragle Chiropractic And Massage Therapy, please contact us at 850 508 5951

posted by Dr. Eric Pragle, LMT, DC