A recovery sports massage session is usually more intense than a general full-body relaxation massage. In most cases, the sports massage therapist will focus on the particular muscles most stressed by your activity, the legs of a runner for instance. After a strenuous workout, your muscles are fatigued, stiff and sore. Recovery sports massage helps to stretch the shortened muscles. It increases circulation to the tissues, thereby removing metabolic waste products, bringing in needed oxygen and other nutrients to renourish and repair the damaged muscles. With a recovery sports massage, you can resume normal functioning much sooner, and if you are recovering faster, that means that you can do more quality workouts in a given period of time. By receiving recovery sports massage, you are facilitating the rebuilding phase of conditioning.
Maintenance sports massage helps to maintain healthy tissues and helps to prevent those minor aches and pains from becoming chronic, over-training injuries that may force you to stop training and competing. Chronically sore areas may affect posture and form, thereby decreasing efficiency and possibly causing other injuries.
Pre event sports massage is brief and invigorating and usually lasts 5-10 minutes. It is used to loosen muscles prior to the activity. Along with light stretching, it will help make sure that the muscles are warmed up and ready to go. It can also help to calm pre-race jitters, allowing the athlete to better focus on the event. Pre event sports massage is normally performed within 1-2 hours of the event.
Post event sports massage can help to minimize pain and discomfort, prevent stiffness, reduce inflammation and return muscles to their normal state more quickly after the race. Post event massage is more calming and relaxing and is usually combined with light stretching. It can decrease recovery time dramatically. Typically, the session is within 2 hours of the event and generally lasts 10-15 minutes. Be sure to take advantage of post race massage if it’s available - even if you have to pay a nominal fee! A full hour or 90 minute sports massage session is best scheduled within 48 hours of the event.