Some decades ago, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to show the positive effect of massage therapy on athletes.
However, solid studies and research have proven that massage therapy has been beneficial for anyone who participates in regular sports programs in the past few years.
So should athletes get massages?
In this article, I will give an honest answer to the question above and also provide other facts you should know about massage therapy for athletes.
Should Athletes Get Massages?
Yes, athletes should get massages regularly because of the numerous benefits they can enjoy from massage therapy. Besides, regular massage will improve their on-field performance and recovery time.
Additionally, The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) says that massage helps to reduce pain, improve performance, sharpen focus, shorten recovery time and prevent injury.
How Often Should Athletes Get Massages?
This is a tricky question to answer. I found it almost as difficult as answering. For example, “how long is a piece of string?”
How often athletes get massages greatly depends on how it makes them feel and the benefits they enjoy from it.
Besides, from my research, I found some athletes cannot stand receiving sports massages. Such people would prefer to foam roll, do stretches, or even nothing.
On the flip side, I have come across athletes who love getting massages regularly and become over-reliant on it.
Nevertheless, the paragraphs below provide crucial factors that may determine how often an athlete should get a massage.
They’re as follows:
#1. The Athlete’s General Health
When an athlete is in good shape, they hardly suffer from chronic conditions or injuries. Hence, they can receive messages as often as they want.
Also, when an athlete is seriously injured and advised to get massage therapy, they can receive a block of treatment regularly until the injury is healed.
#2. How The Athlete Felt After Their Last Session
Contrary to a popular notion, an athlete shouldn’t feel bruised or battered after receiving a sports massage. Neither should they feel light nor tickly.
Even though it requires pressure to enjoy the positive message effects, high amounts of pressure will cause pain and bruising, which isn’t suitable for athletes.
Nevertheless, it’s expected to feel sore for a day or so after getting a nice massage, so don’t get bothered at all if that is the case.
The way a person feels after getting a massage is very individual. So I suggest that athletes should give feedback to their therapists about how massage therapy makes them feel.
#3. How Long The Effects Last
This varies from one person to another. Some athletes may feel the effects for a few days or weeks. At the same time, others may experience it for more than one month.
In addition, I suggest that an athlete review whether sports massage is the right recovery therapy for them if they find little or no benefits.
#4. The Reason For Getting A Massage
There are various reasons why people get massages. For example, an athlete may seek massage therapy because it’s recommended by his doctor.
Or, they may get a regular sports massage to help improve their productivity and recovery rate after a workout.
#5. Finance And Time
I found out from my in-depth research that an athlete’s budget and time are vital elements to consider when thinking about how often he should receive massage therapy.
What Kind Of Massage Do Athletes Get?
There are many types of massages out there. But mentioned below are various massage types that are most suitable for athletes. So I suggest you check and try them out.
- Swedish Massage: This message type is best effective for athletes right before a huge competition. Swedish massage is a well-known massage that incorporates varying pressure amounts with long, flowing strokes.
- Sports Massage: This type of massage involves different techniques to help focus on your activities or sports areas. Sports massage helps athletes to treat or prevent injuries and prepare for peak performance.
- Active Release Technique (ART): This technique incorporates deep, specifically applied pressure to help reduce scar tissue formation and lower muscle adhesions. Furthermore, studies show that ART therapy is beneficial for treating hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints.
- Deep Tissue Massage: Should athletes get deep tissue massages? Yes, they should get tissue massage because it helps work the entire muscles and focus on specific problem areas. Besides, this massage type is suitable for those who receive hard athletic training as well as runners.
What Does A Massage Do For Athletes?
How often I have come across this question online:
“Why is massage therapy good for athletes?”
Hence, a few days ago, I researched the benefits of massage for athletes, and the answers were mind-blowing.
My research shows massage therapy is good for athletes because it has many benefits that can make them perform better.
Here are some of the valuable things massage can do for athletes:
- It can improve an athlete’s mental health and relieve him of psychological stress.
- It can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
- It improves sleep quality of an athlete and provides optimum relaxation for him.
- It helps to promote blood flow and improve muscle flexibility.
- It can improve an athlete’s recovery process from injury and promote his mobility.
Can Deep Tissue Massage Cause Damage?
Yes, deep tissue massage can cause damage, especially if the athlete is not in good shape to receive it.
Generally speaking, deep tissue massage has a positive effect on athletes. Still, it may not be the right therapy for all athletes.
So I recommend you consult your doctor before getting a deep tissue massage, especially if you have any of the below:
- Nerve injury
- Blood clotting disorder
- Wounds or skin conditions
- Increased risk of injury, such as bone fractures
- Recent surgery or chemotherapy
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is An Athletic Massage?
The athletic massage focuses on massaging athletes to prevent or reduce pain and injuries associated with sporting activities.
How Does Massage Benefit Athletes Prior To Performance?
Massage helps athletes to relax and relieve stress and muscle tension. This will help prepare them physically and mentally before any competition.
How Does Massage Improve Performance?
Massage therapy helps to improve athletes’ performance by preventing muscle cramps, enhancing flexibility, improving endurance, and alleviating muscle tension after training or sporting events.
Are Massages Good For Athletes?
Yes, massage therapy is good for athletes because it helps to improve their athletic performance, range of motion and make them mentally prepared for a big competition.
Despite the numerous massage benefits mentioned above, I suggest athletes seek their doctors’ approval before getting massages.
Lastly, suppose you think massage therapy may be too expensive for you. In that case, I recommend you buy the opove M3 massage gun which is a cheaper recovery alternative for athletes.
Disclaimer:The information contained in this article is a result of in-depth research on the subject matter. This article is only for informational and educational purposes, and it’s not intended as medical or health advice. Hence, I suggest you always ensure to seek the opinion of your doctor or other qualified health personnel regarding any questions that relate to health objectives or medical conditions.