If you are an athlete, you know the amount of dedication that it takes. Whether you’re preparing for a marathon, competition, recital, or big game, the amount of training and preparation is extensive. You have to train your muscles and tissues to perform in the ways you want them to, which can ultimately lead to pain and soreness. This is a minor setback, but it doesn’t change the fact that it temporarily impedes your training process. Therapeutic massage is commonly used in athletes whose muscles may have experienced extended periods of overuse. It helps in loosening up any tight areas and making recovery quicker and easier – so you can get back on track to accomplishing your end goal. Call Alpine Physiotherapy today to figure out how therapeutic massage can help you!
Your soft tissues and you:
Your muscles are made up of many small, thin fibers that contract on command, working together to mobilize your muscle groups. These muscles are attached to your bones by connective tissues, called tendons, enabling them to move your body parts. Your bones are then connected by tougher bands of connective tissue, called ligaments, for added stability. Your ligaments are covered by yet another connective tissue called fascia. All of these connective tissues can be referred to as “soft tissues.”
Soft tissues help in mobilizing your joints and giving your body the strength it needs to perform tasks. Your soft tissues provide you with the ability to do many things; however, they also limit you from pushing yourself too far – even if that’s your intention. These can be damaged by certain stresses, especially those caused by the repeated actions within athletic activity. For example, “tennis elbow” or “golfer’s elbow” are both colloquial terms used to describe tears in the tendons of the elbow. They got their name from the repeated swinging action that tennis players and golfer’s do, making it a common injury that they experience. A tear in the tendon such as this can lead you with a significant amount of swelling and inflammation. Many athletes also experience sprains, which is caused by a ligament stretching farther than intended.
These may occur in response to the intensity of your sport, but they can also occur if muscles simply are too tight before you begin one of your workouts. Therapeutic massage can help with this, as it loosens up the muscles, and may even prevent some of these injuries from occurring.
How physiotherapy will improve your performance:
Therapeutic massage can be extremely beneficial for athletes, both before and after their training process. Your physiotherapist may also recommend other types of massage to complement your physiotherapy treatments, including:
- Deep tissue massage. This type of massage loosens up your muscles and their connective tissues.
- Myofascial release. This type of massage creates room for tissues that may be trapped by distortions or fascial adhesions, freeing them from constriction.
- Swedish massage. This type of massage relaxes any stiff or tense muscles you may have, allowing for increased blood flow and fluid drainage from swollen areas.
Therapeutic massage promotes tissue healing, so you can get back to your sport of choice as quickly as possible. Sports massage therapy can also be used before you even begin your rigorous exercise regimen, targeting the specific muscles and tissues that see the most use for your sport. By working to mobilize, loosen, and relax these muscles before you train, you can help them stay limber throughout the process. This will decrease your risk of strains, sprains, and ruptures.
Your soft tissues work hard to make sure your body is functioning correctly, so it is important to help optimize their health and function. If you are an athlete looking for physiotherapy treatments, give our office a call to schedule a consultation with one of our physiotherapists today. We would be happy to discuss massage with you and how it will benefit your physical performance. Your sport is important to you – we want to help get you back in the game!