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Sports massage therapy


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#1
sballer4life

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I've heard a lot lately about sports massage therapy, not only to treat specific athletic injuries but also to prevent them. Does it really work? How much does it cost? Is a "deep tissue" massage better for certain types of injuries?

#2
sportnerd

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Massage therapy is gaining in popularity among the athletic community as a legitimate way to boost performance and treat specific injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains and strained (pulled) hamstring and groin muscles. In fact, before you rush off to have surgery on any injury, you should consider consulting with your massage therapist about possible alternatives.

And yes, it can also help prevent injuries.

But make sure you find a good therapist. The best in the business possess a thorough knowledge of human anatomy and physiology and have years of experience working in the fields of sports therapy and rehabilitation.

Of course, these benefits come at a price, usually $50 to $100 or more at a crack. But in the right hands, massage therapy can add years to the life of your sporting career—and make you feel better after you hang it up, too.

So how does it work?

Strenuous physical exertion makes muscles, tendons and ligaments hard and inelastic, squeezing the fluid out of the tissues like a wrung sponge; this deprives the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair itself.

Massage helps reverse this process stretching the tissues—including in ways that do not occur naturally; for example, bundles of muscle fibers are stretched sideways as well as lengthwise. Blood and lymph fluid is also sucked back into the area by the pumping action of the massage, which increases the pressure in front of the stroke and creates a vacuum behind.

Massage also stretches the sheath or fascia surrounding the muscle, relieving tension. Flexibility is also improved by loosening and/or breaking down any scar tissue that has formed from previous injuries or trauma.

"Deep tissue" massage—which uses slower strokes and is targeted at the muscles located below the top layer of muscles—also causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through.

Finally, when a fatigued muscle is relaxed it slows down its consumption of energy and production of waste products, allowing it to recover more quickly.

One thing massage doesn’t do is remove lactic acid, once labeled an unwanted waste product and blamed for the burning feeling in fatigued muscles. For years, massage therapists were taught that lactic acid should be flushed from the muscles of athletes after a vigorous workout. Recent research shows, however, that levels return to normal within 30-60 minutes post-exercise without any assistance, and that massage is no more effective than passive rest in speeding up this process.

Apart from its failure to expel lactic acid—which it turns out may not be such a bad thing after all—there is no doubt that muscle massage helps the body recover faster from exercise and is an effective treatment for certain types of athletic injuries. That’s all the excuse I need to sign up and get one!

#3
fastpitchfan

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Massage became popular in the United States in the mid-1880s when it was introduced by two New York physicians based on the methods of Swedish physical therapist Per Henrik Ling. Ling’s interest in anatomy and physiology came honestly: he was the great-great grandson of the famous Swedish scientist Olof Rudbeck who discovered the human lymphatic system.

Massage grew in popularity until the 1930s and 40s when it began to be frowned upon by the established medical community. It experienced a resurgence in the 1960s when nurses began to use it to help alleviate patients’ pain and help them sleep. Application to athletes came next, and in 1996 massage therapy was deemed a core medical service at the Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.

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The popularity of sports massage continues to grow. In 2002 the Sports Massage Association (SMA) was founded in the United Kingdom. Today, it is not uncommon for super-athletes such as Lebron James to have personal massage therapists who occasionally travel with them.

Is a "deep tissue" massage better for certain types of injuries?

Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. It is especially useful for alleviating chronic injuries associated with persistent pain like back injuries.

But if you sign up for one, be prepared: it can feel quite intense—in fact, it is not uncommon to have your muscle pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two.

#4
jlurban

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See also the separate topic Sports massage DVD.

#5
SpartanIlliniCub

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I have a real hard time believing that sports massage has any real medical benefits. Sure it feels nice and I'm sure it stimulates blood flow and all that, but I can't really see it doing much for you. Especially when it costs me $550 an hour.

#6
fastpitchfan

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Ha ha. According to massage-therapy-benefits.net the average massage is much less expensive:

On average a 1-hour relaxation massage can cost from $50 to $70 with a therapeutic massage costing on average $10 more than the base price relaxation massage. Therapeutic massage takes more skill from the therapist...There are places that charge as little as $30 for a massage, but those places are few and far between. Massage clinics like Massage Envy offer massages for a monthly rate. This system is good for some who what to get massage on a regular basis but would find it difficult to fit the cost into their budgets otherwise. Many times the therapists working in places that charge so little are new massage school graduates with little experience. Finding the best, most experienced therapist will help you have a better massage experience.



#7
drstill

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I am a chiropractor and I specialized in sports medicine. I have recently started doing massage therapy for the patiens taht I feel like would benefit. When doing a massage for sports injuries I often recommend complimenting that with chiropractic care. I would suggest looking for a chiropractor in your area that has a massage theapy staff on hand. Google it, here is my website for you to look at Massage Therapy Longview, WA I'm hoping that it helps you identify a chiropractor that alsoprovides massage therapy

#8
SpartanIlliniCub

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What type of injuries do you see most often in softball players?

#9
SpartanIlliniCub

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I screwed up my back a year ago and a chiropractor really helped me.  My back was super swollen on one side and it looked like it was crooked.  It hurt very bad to use it in any capacity and I was in a lot of pain.

 

I went to a chiropractor who cracked it and I got immediate relief.  After 2 weeks of rest and 4-5 treatments I was good as new.

 

I know chiropractors are not highly regarded by all segments of the population, but I got serious results and did not need to have surgery or take any ###### (which I know would have been on the mind of any MD examining my back).  I would definitely go to a chiropractor again.



#10
louisemartin

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I had seen once my friend to have a sports massage , while playing he had a cramp in his left leg. The coach had given him ice cube massage and within few minutes he again get up and went to play again. I always thought that massage therapies are given in the spa center but at that i realized that you can have spa massage at home if you know the technique of giving it.






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