Sports Massage (SM) is made up of a variety of techniques that are generally applied as a pre-event or post-event therapy. However, it is now applied regularly to particular injuries during the events. Lastly, it is used on-going for performance enhancement and injury prevention.
The success of SM has been so beneficial that most professional teams, ranging from football and hockey to gymnastics and track, have full time therapist on staff. You will often see them on the sidelines warming an athlete them up with massage or assisting the athletic trainer with specific stretches.
The types of techniques used in SM depend on the particular outcome desired. For example, for warm ups rapid effleurage, thumb sweeps, jostling and petrissage are used. These are the same strokes used for cool down as well, though the pace of them is slower. For spasms or a “Charlie Horse” petrissage, compression and stretching is used. For more long term or reoccurring injuries, deep friction and range of motion are helpful.
The types of techniques that are used in Sports Massage are actually the same techniques used in many other applications; they are just focused on the sports athlete. It is important to understand, however, that many jobs other than sports require athletic prowess. So to limit the techniques of Sport Massage to just those that play sports is to neglect a huge range of people who could benefit from this type of Massage.
If you find it hard to locate someone in your area that specializes in Sports Massage, look for someone who has a good general and in-depth training in Massage Therapy and he or she should be able to accommodate you.
Finished with Sports Massage, return to Massage Therapy