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sports massage greenwich ct

Whether you are a professional athlete, use exercise to feel good and maintain your health, or use it as a discipline to keep yourself from bad habits,  there are many ways massage therapy can help your performance. Massage therapy can improve sports performance by:

  • Maintain the health of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments.) If you maintain the health and function of the soft tissues you can help to prevent pain conditions that force you to stop your exercise.
  • Help reduce muscle soreness from high loads of exercise. This can help keep you fresh and ready for your next workout
  • Can be used to rehabilitate a problem area (muscle strain, ligament sprain, and tendinitis.) This will help speed recovery time and get you back to your sport quickly. 

 

How Does Massage Help Maintain Soft Tissue Health?

Your performance is based on how healthy your tissue is. The muscle tendon unit provides the force of all movement and provides stability to your joints (you don’t want injury to your joints because that is the structure of your body.) So it is extremely important that the tissue is healthy and functions well.

The Most Common Soft Tissue Problem: Trigger Points

Trigger points weaken the muscle. If one muscle has trigger points other muscles take over for that muscle. This causes those muscles to develop trigger points.

Trigger points are a sensitive area in the muscle that refers pain locally or to another area.  Trigger points form from repeated use of the muscle and long held contractions of the muscle. Trigger points cause a lack of circulation in the muscle tissue and this leads to a cycle of the muscle tissue unable to receive the blood it needs to break the trigger point.

Trigger points left untreated leads to fibrous adhesions in the muscle which structurally changes the muscle tissue. This will cause pain, lack of motion at the joints, and make it difficult for the muscle to perform work.

This decreases your muscles work capacity and also can lead to injury. When the muscles don’t contract as well they can’t stabilize which is crucial in sports of any kind. 

Massage helps decrease trigger point activity by increasing circulation to the trigger point thereby breaking the trigger point.

Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness after exercise usually takes care of itself. However,  high intensity exercise and inadequate rest can lead to fatigue of muscles. You may notice muscle weakness and a drop in your performance. 

Massage therapy has been shown to help decrease muscle soreness associated with exercise. There is debate as to what causes muscle soreness. It is generally thought that exercise that is new or has high eccentric muscle contraction causes micro tears in the tissue and produces inflammation.  Massage may help in decreasing post exercise soreness.

Massage Therapy for Pain and Rehabilitation

Pain affects your ability to perform any kind of work or activity. Massage has been shown to help many types of pain including low back and neck pain. 

Massage therapy can be used on its own or with other treatments like physical therapy or chiropractic care. Since massage focuses on healing the soft tissues it is an excellent addition to improve a pain condition. 

Some pain conditions massage can help are:

  • Low back pain: massage can be helpful for low back muscle strains, sacroiliac dysfunction, herniated discs and piriformis syndrome
  • Neck pain: massage can be helpful for muscle strains and herniated discs
  • Shoulder pain: muscle strain is common in the shoulder and is associated with rotator cuff strains, impingement syndrome, and bi-ceps tendinitis
  • Knee pain: patellofemoral syndrome, hamstring strain, and calf strain are common and can be helped with massage therapy
  • Foot and ankle pain: ligament sprain, plantar fascitis, and muscle strain of the foot and calf often occur and can be greatly helped with massage

 

No matter whether you are a beginner, exercise on the weekends, or are a seasoned athlete massage therapy can keep your muscles in peak condition, Prevent injury, and help get you back to exercise after an injury. This way you can continue  to work on all your health and exercise goals for the long run.

 

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