Wednesday, December 31, 2008
By: Daniel J. Brownell
© copyright 2008 Full Throttle Massage, Inc.
There are 3 different categories of sports massage; event, maintenance, and treatment massage. While each type offers specific benefits, all sports massage can help reduce the risk of injury, increase circulation, and improve recovery time; which are three very important factors for all athletes. This article is going to focus on Event Massage.
Event Massage can be broken into the sub-categories of pre-event, inter-event, and post-event. Pre-event massage will help an athlete prepare for the upcoming physical exertion. Inter-event massage is used during and event such as track, where an athlete may be entered in multiple activities. While post-event massage is used to help athletes recover from the exertion of the event. Event massage targets the large muscle groups, is short in duration (10-15 minutes) and fast paced.
One of the most important benefits of pre-event massage is helping to reduce the risk of injury. This is achieved through the warming up of muscle and connective tissue. As muscle and connective tissue warms, it becomes more elastic; therefore it is less likely to tear. Pre-event massage also increases circulation. This will help supply the muscles with the needed nutrients during the event. Pre-event massages also help create a positive state of mind and can help improve an athlete’s performance potential.
Inter-event massage is administered between the events during a single day’s competition; such as track and field, swimming, and tennis. Inter-event massage is used to identify any areas of tension that developed during competition. Using effleurage and pétrissage massage strokes, a therapist can loosen the tension; therefore reducing the risk of injury.
Post-event massage is best done after an athlete performs normal cool exercises and stretches. The benefits of post-event massage include returning the muscles to a resting or relaxed state. It will help with venous return to support the metabolic recovery; this includes lactic acid build-up in muscle tissue. A massage therapist can identify and de-activate any trigger/tender points that developed during competition. Post-event massage will also reduce the risk of “next day” muscle soreness.
Event Massage is a faced paced style of massage intended to enhance an athlete’s performance potential. It will increase circulation and core body temperature; aide in recovery time and reduce the risk of injury. Event Massage is not intended to take the place of normal warm-up and cool-down routines; rather it is an aide to enhance and complete these routines.
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