Ask any serious athlete what helps them the most and they will tell you about these three things; Mental attitude, my coach and my massage therapist. Sports massage is reported to have many beneficial effects in athletes. Sports massage can be used pre-performance, post-performance, during training or for rehabilitation. Athletes of all levels may benefit from sports massage, especially if you are undergoing a sports injury rehab. If you are looking for a way to improve your athletic performance, then sports massage may be for you.
Some of the reported benefits include:
  • Increased blood flow
  • Increased joint range of motion (ROM)
  • Increased flexibility 
  • Increased elimination of exercise waste products (lactic acid) 
  • Increased sense of well-being
  • Decreased muscle tension
  • Decreased neurological excitability (nerves more relaxed)
  • Decreased chance of injury
  • Decreased recovery time between workouts
  • Decreased muscle spasms

Athletes want to lead the field and outperform their competitors or their own times. Very few professional athletes or sports teams are without their own professional massage therapist now. A sports therapist is regarded as an important member of the team. You can’t motivate somebody who is tired, has inflexible joints, has injuries both old and new, has tension and muscle cramp. Athletes benefit from sports massage because it addresses all these issues and allows training to be both effective and positive. 

Massage allows the body to heal faster, so, whether you just want to get back into training quicker, you have a new event to prepare for, or are undergoing a sports injury rehab, your massage therapist will make that happen in the fastest time.

A lot of people associate massage with relaxation and falling asleep. And, sometimes, when it’s appropriate, that’s what you do. But sports massage is different. Pre-event massage is stimulating and gets the muscles warm, the body ready, the blood pumping and the brain cool. The athlete is FULL of energy at this point and ready for action. Post-event massage is more about slowing down again, relaxing and allowing the body to heal ready for the next event.

Research studies regarding perceived fatigue and recovery showed that subjects felt they were less fatigued and recovered faster after sports massage. Decreased anxiety, improved mood and well-being were also noted. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) decreased by about 30% in one research study. Other studies support the finding that DOMS does decrease after sports massage.