The benefits of sports massage

Blog Health News 2nd July 2021 Enquiries & appointments
Close up of a sports massage of a calf muscle

Getting injured is every athlete’s worst fear. Injuries not only affect an athlete’s ability to perform at their highest level, but they can also prevent them from training, or playing altogether.

Over time, injuries take their toll on the body. Even though tissue heals, when your muscles are constantly pushed to their limit the odds of an injury increase and if this is a regular occurrence, the condition can become chronic. As well as this, dealing with pain and limited mobility after an injury is exhausting and frustrating. Therefore, it’s worth using sports massage to aid recovery and reduce the chance of injuries occurring.

What are the benefits?

The main difference between sports and holistic massage, is that sports massages are less passive. You may be asked to change position regularly, or to perform an active movement, whilst the therapist applies a stretch.

Sports massage has a number of benefits, including enhancing performance by promoting good blood flow to the muscles, increasing flexibility, and reducing the effects of fatigue. However, it is important to note that not all of these claims are supported by research. Although a 2020 review reported that there was no direct link between sports massage and performance outcomes, there was evidence to suggest that it helped to reduce the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). It was also reported that there is an increase to flexibility in comparison to no interventions pre, or post work out. Sports massage can also be beneficial in reducing muscle or fascial tightness, also known as ‘muscle knots’ or ‘trigger points’.

Sports massage is often noted to have a positive psychological effect on an athlete, which may, in turn, have a beneficial effect on their performance, but this can be different for every individual, as the results are due to athlete perception.

Sports massage can have the reputation to be painful, with some symptoms of soreness or aching in the days following the treatment. These symptoms, along with the potential for some bruising, usually subside within a day or two, and this is when you should feel the benefits. Any treatment that you have with KIMS Hospital will be comfortable, and, as always, you are in control of your treatment.

Here at KIMS Hospital, we like to use massage as a tool in your recovery. We use it alongside your rehabilitation program to help you to get the maximum benefits from your training, along with the knowledge and advice that we provide, to allow you to progress and reach your rehab goals.

Find out more, or make an enquiry, on our Physical Therapy page

Media & Press Enquiries

Madeleine Greenhalgh Senior Marketing & Communications Manager 01622 237663