Can Sports Massage help prevent sports injuries? 24 Sep 2019
Athletes who are looking to improve performance and increase their competitive edge do so by adopting a training schedule to enhance their skill, strength, stamina, suppleness and speed. The degree to which they develop and utilise these qualities will depend on other factors such as the level of competition, the sport played, and possibly their position in a team. However, no matter which sport, the aim is nearly always to increase the level of training and thereby subject the body to gradual and controlled overuse.
This overuse can often create problems and imbalances in the muscles. If these are ignored and allowed to become chronic, they will not only hinder the athlete's rate of improvement, but also in many cases their performance may well suffer and ultimately the athlete may be susceptible to developing more conditions that are serious. Certainly if they are unable to perform at their best, they may be more at risk from other more traumatic forms of injury. So it is essential to treat muscular imbalances early.
Whether it is to carry out our normal daily activities or to participate in the majority of sporting activities, it is necessary to have normal range of movement at any given joint(s). It has been suggested that a lack of flexibility can increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries as reduced muscle flexibility may restrict joint range of movement creating abnormal movement patterns. For example shortened calf muscles may restrict ankle dorsiflexion, causing an altered gait pattern while running or walking. This may produce a compensatory pattern of walking, with a laterally turned out foot, eventually leading to pain in the hip or knee.
A sports masseur can determine if the muscular imbalance caused by training has impacted the range of movement of the client by assessing the range of movement. By detecting these muscular imbalances early, before they become more serious and cause pain or impact an athlete’s performance a sports massage can prevent injury. The prevention of injury is the biggest benefit of sports massage.