Orthopaedic Sports Massage is a speciality within the field of massage therapy that focuses specifically on preventing injury and aiding the healing process when an injury occurs.
These days Sports Massage Therapy (SMT) is widely used by the general public for treating various painful conditions and preventing them from happening. Everyone from soccer moms and dads to marathon runners can benefit from and use the SMT. It can assist an athlete in all phases of competition reducing soreness and fatigue during the training process, giving a head start before the competition and speeding the recovery period after the event.
Benefits of SMT (mechanical and reflexive):
- Improving blood circulation
- Stretching soft tissue
- Breaking down adhesions and collagen fibres of scar tissue
- Increasing the elasticity of soft tissue
- Improving tissue permeability
- Increasing microcirculation.
- Improves the performance of athletes by increasing blood flow, removing lactic acid, and stimulating the nervous system.
SMT has been proposed as a means to help prepare athletes for competition through enhancement of athletic performance, as a treatment approach to aid in recovery after a competition, and as a direct intervention for sports-related musculoskeletal injuries
A comprehensive meta-analysis of massage therapy research conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign evaluated several variables and factors from 37 studies which included gate control theory of pain reduction, promotion of parasympathetic activity, the influence of body chemistry, mechanical effects, promotion of restorative sleep, and interpersonal attention.
The authors concluded that the current body of evidence “supports the general conclusion that sports massage therapy is effective.”
Shamsi, H., Okhovatian, F. and Khademi Kalantari, K., 2022. Physiological and Neurophysiological Effects of Sports Massage on the Athletes’ Performance: A Review Study. The Scientific Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 11(5), pp.680-691.
Trofa, D.P., Obana, K.K., Herndon, C.L., Noticewala, M.S., Parisien, R.L., Popkin, C.A. and Ahmad, C.S., 2020. The evidence for common nonsurgical modalities in sports medicine, part 1: kinesio tape, sports massage therapy, and acupuncture. JAAOS Global Research & Reviews, 4(1).