Sports massage for maximizing performance

sports massage

Are you a casual weekend warrior? Perhaps you’re a dedicated athlete trying to compete at your peak. A specialized sports massage may be the key if you want to perform better and recover faster from a workout or injury. 

Adding sports massages to your pre-and post-workout routine can help you feel great about being active. Your muscles and tendons work hard for you during physical activity, so treat them to a therapeutic sports massage in return. 

Are you curious how a sports massage can help you maximize your performance and recovery time? Keep reading to find out…

What is sports massage?

A sports massage may help improve your performance and enjoyment of your active lifestyle. This style of massage is intended to enhance your athletic performance by:

  • Increasing your flexibility: Massage can stretch your muscle fibers, increasing their flexibility and range of motion. 
  • Reducing muscle tightness and tension: Overuse or new training techniques can cause tired muscles. When your body feels physically overloaded, toxic lactic acid builds up in your surrounding tissues. If left untreated, lactic acid can cause long-term damage. Regular massage therapy can clear build-up around your muscles to prevent its long-term effects. 
  • Supporting faster recovery from injury: Massage is a great way to increase circulation. Proper circulation helps carry blood and oxygen around your body, especially in an injured area, helping speed healing. 
  • Enhancing your mental health: As an athlete, you understand the importance of your mental wellness and how it can impact your athletic performance. Top athletes maintain a strong mind and body. Sports massages can assist in calming and clearing your mind, enabling you to focus on your sport and performance motivations, thereby supporting your overall well-being.

Sports massages also have stress-busting benefits. Massage helps increase circulation throughout your body, which puts you in a calmer state. It can be a great added benefit if you are worried about an upcoming event or have any personal stress. 

A sports massage aims to help your body perform at peak efficiency so you can be the best you can be in your sport or exercise.

It has tremendous benefits for pre-exercise therapy (getting your body in top shape to avoid injury) and as part of your post-exercise recovery (to recover from injury or muscle and tendon tightness). 

For preventative care

Do you include sports massage in your training and exercise routine? If not, it’s time to consider it. Sports massages are a great way to prepare your body for physical activity by ensuring it moves as it should. 

A powerful preventative benefit of sports massages is how they can lengthen and precondition your muscles and tendons so you experience a wider, safer range of motion. 

For example, if you play sports with repetitive motions (like running, biking, or arm movements in a sport like Tennis), you may notice your range of motion increases and feels less strained. This increased range of motion can help you avoid overextension injuries while doing these repetitive actions.   

Dave came to see Susan at Oceana in preparation for his Tough Mudder Race. Here’s how his sports massage helped him:

“I was very concerned about my shin splints acting up during the Tough Mudder Race. I came to see you a day before the race and you applied the necessary techniques to ensure that my shins would endure the impact of the race. Wow, I was totally shocked that I didn’t feel pain in my shins one bit for the 17 km. of running in that crazy rain. Thank you so much, Susan.

For rehabilitation

Most people suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This is when muscle soreness doesn’t develop until a few hours after physical activity. DOMS is when your muscle’s ability to relax is reduced. It creates tight, inflexible muscles, which is the soreness you experience post-workout. While it doesn’t cause significant muscle damage, it can still be painful. Massage after your workout can help increase blood flow and help to relax any areas of tightness.

However, sports massage usually isn’t recommended if you have more severe injuries (such as excessive bleeding, recent surgery, fractures, open wounds, or ruptured tendons) without consulting a healthcare provider first. 

How it works

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sports massage. Your massage therapists will discuss your reason for visiting and do an assessment to determine a recommended treatment plan customized to your needs. 

Unlike traditional massage, which typically treats the whole body and person, sports massage is designed to treat the area of pain or discomfort. Treatments may include light pressure techniques or deep tissue massages to reach muscle discomfort below your skin. Sessions are usually 30-60 minutes long, but may be available for 75-90 minutes if you have more muscle pain or soreness. 

When used as preventative treatments, we often suggest seeing your massage therapist weekly to every couple of weeks, depending on your activity level and unique needs. 

When used as a rehabilitative treatment, it’s best to see your massage therapist as soon as possible after your activity. This could help minimize DOMS pain and discomfort and aid in faster healing.

Where to get a sports massage in Vancouver

Sports massages require specialized experience and training. We recommend seeing a registered massage therapist (RMT) for your sports massage. They know sports injury and rehabilitation to provide a massage that meets the needs of your athletic goals.  

The RMTs at Oceana would be honoured to help you reach your athletic goals. We provide athletic massages as preventative and rehabilitative care. With our help and your dedication to your sport, you’ll be on your way to running longer, swimming faster, or more.

Book a massage at Oceana Massage today.