Sports massage has been around for centuries, but only in the last few decades has it been widely used as a way to keep athletes healthy and improve performance.
As more people have discovered the benefits of sports massage, it has also become popular with other individuals who may benefit from the techniques and methods used by sports massage therapists, including anyone who suffers from chronic pain or anyone who experiences muscle tension that makes performing certain physical activities difficult or uncomfortable.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common reasons people turn to sports massage and how it can be an effective tool in reducing pain.
1) Improves Blood Flow
The increased blood flow that results from sports massage can increase your body’s ability to fight pain, particularly on tired or injured muscles. This benefit is primarily linked to an increase in oxygen and nutrients reaching your muscles, but it’s also tied to reduced inflammation.
These combined benefits can make it easier for you to recover from injury and perform better during activity.
The more time your body spends maintaining homeostasis (your natural balance), the less time you have spent in pain. Good circulation helps keep everything moving along properly—so don’t be surprised if you feel better right away after a session with a sports massage therapist!
2) Decreases Stress
All of our organs are controlled by certain parts of our brain; things like blood pressure, breathing rate, and digestion are all controlled by a part of your brain called your autonomic nervous system.
While you’re busy exercising, your body is under a lot of stress—your heart is beating faster, you’re sweating, and you’re using muscles in ways they aren’t used to.
And if any part of your body isn’t working well or isn’t being worked out as much as it should be (like muscles in your back or shoulders), it will send signals to that section of your brain saying we need more attention here! Pay more attention to me! Squeeze harder! Faster! Stronger! Faster!
3) Helps Improve Mobility and Flexibility
A massage isn’t just about feeling good; it can also be a highly effective way to treat pain. With its combination of pain-relieving techniques and healing properties, sports massage has been used as a method of therapeutic care for thousands of years.
When used correctly, massages help improve blood flow, reduce joint stiffness and improve flexibility in your joints. After an injury or strenuous workout, sports massage may help ease muscle soreness that occurs during post-exercise recovery.
It can also reduce muscle spasms and help you regain range of motion in muscles that have shortened from overuse.
4) Relieves Muscle Tension
If you’re dealing with muscle pain, sports massage can help relieve that tension. This will allow your muscles to relax, making it easier for you to rest and recover. Your body will also be less likely to tense up around your injury, reducing inflammation and allowing your body to heal itself naturally.
And while some people enjoy pain as a way of releasing endorphins, unnecessary stress and tension is never a good thing—even if it doesn’t hurt! Sports massage can help relieve stress on strained muscles by applying varying amounts of pressure during massages.
5) Increases Range of Motion
One of sports massage’s biggest benefits is its ability to increase range of motion, which can help reduce pain associated with muscles being too tight. Think about it: If you have a stiff shoulder or lower back and go on a run, you’re likely to feel discomfort at some point.
What if there was a way to loosen your muscles before hitting the pavement? Not only would that decrease your risk of injury—which we’ll talk about later—but it would also put you in an optimal position for better performance.
6) Helps Maintain Joint Health
Runners, cyclists and other athletes benefit from sports massage because it keeps their muscles and joints in good condition by increasing blood flow to these areas. This is especially important when it comes to injury prevention; taking care of your body before an injury strikes is a great way to avoid one down the road.
In addition, maintaining healthy muscles and ligaments can help prevent chronic pain. You’re less likely to experience recurring back pain if you’re keeping yourself in good shape!
7) Speeds Up Recovery Time
When you have an injury, one of your body’s natural responses is to isolate muscles in that area. By getting a sports massage, you get your body moving again and can speed up recovery time for certain injuries.
Studies show that massages not only improve range of motion, but also help reduce pain. They allow our bodies to recover from repetitive stress faster than without one. In addition, a sports massage before or after a competition can help with relaxation and warmth needed to compete better.
8) Improves Physical Performance and Ability
Have you ever felt better after a massage? Perhaps you noticed improved energy levels or a reduced recovery time. These are common and extremely welcome results of massage therapy, but perhaps there is more to it than that.
Recent research suggests that not only does massage improve physical performance, but it also improves our ability to perform. In fact, one study showed improvements in muscle strength and power lasting up to four days following just one session of sports massage!
9) Enhances Immune Function
The prolonged stretching used in sports massage can enhance immune function, which is especially important for athletes. The increased blood flow brought on by a massage also enhances immune response, while lowering overall stress levels.
Lowering stress lowers cortisol levels and enables your body to better fight off infections and disease. Additionally, post-workout massages help you recover more quickly from strenuous exercise by stimulating tissue repair and replacing lost fluids in muscle tissue.
Recovering faster means you’ll see improvements not only in physical health but also mental health, allowing you to excel when practicing or competing at an elite level.
10) Reduces Psychological Stress
Let’s face it: most of us lead stressful lives. We feel high levels of stress from our jobs, families, and general responsibilities. When you add in physical pain, it’s like adding another stressor to an already volatile situation.
A massage can help reduce mental tension and relieve stress by relaxing your muscles and your mind. This helps reenergize you so that you can handle everyday tasks more easily and effectively.
There are many reasons why massage is beneficial. Some of these reasons, such as pain relief and stress management, are widely known and talked about in magazines and on television.
However, there are many other great benefits that aren’t quite as well known, such as reduced inflammation and improved flexibility. If you have suffered from chronic pain for any length of time, sports massage may be a good idea for you.
And if you haven’t thought about getting a sports massage before now, it might be worth your while to give it some consideration after reading through all of these benefits.