Sports massages can vary in style, depending on where you are in your competition cycle. Whether you are in pre-season training, suffering from mid-season aches and pains, or looking for an edge in an upcoming competition, the proper application of massage can help you succeed in any sport.
In pre-season training, focus is typically placed on injury prevention and workout recovery. Your therapist will ask questions about your own injury history, discuss with you common injuries in your sport, and examine your biomechanics, all of which will allow them design a course of treatment aimed at helping you to stay injury free. In addition to providing massage services based on your chosen activity, your therapist may suggest ways to improve your exercise program, and/or offer strategies to help speed up recovery at home.
In the middle of a season, the primary focus of a sports massage shifts to managing your symptoms, as well as stretching and exercises. Large changes to your biomechanics in this part of the competition cycle can lead to greater risks for injury, thus focusing on small changes to your program can help to prevent injuries and optimize performance.
Finally, the period of time leading up to a competition is very important for any athlete. A general rule is that the closer a massage is to the time of competition, the less invasive it should be. Deep massages and stretching right before a competition can actually hinder performance, and should be avoided. Instead, your therapist may focus on using other massage techniques to reduce muscle tension, or to stimulate muscles and the nervous system to prepare for activity.
At Anatomy Physiotherapy Clinic, our therapists are experienced in competing themselves, as well as working with athletes in a wide variety of sports including skiing (downhill and cross country), running, cycling, hockey, football, rugby, and more.