Injury Prevention and Management
Overuse or repetitive use can create a constant built up of tension in the muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, fascia and connective tissue. Regular massage can release these adhesions, knots and tension improving flexibility, joint range of movement, muscle strength, which helps prevent injuries.
When injuries do occur, whether from overuse or trauma, sports massage can be very beneficial, depending on what stage of the soft tissue healing process it is in and the nature of the pathology. In the later stages of healing sports massage can break down scar tissue and stretch and re-align the muscle fibres.
After strenuous exercise, it improves the recovery of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) by effective delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscle tissues. Sports massage also aids removal of lactic acid, which helps relieve muscle soreness and pain.
Other methods which aid injury healing include RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), cryotherapy (application of cold to the injured area) and thermotherapy (application of heat to the injured area). In general cold application will help when the injury is recent or acute to reduce inflammation. Heat application helps relax the muscles. effective for muscle spasms and is used at the later chronic stage of healing. Heat should never be used when the injury is acute and there is inflammation present.