The Benefits of Sports Massage

Our office is very excited to be headed to the MVP Rochester Marathon for our second consecutive year this Sunday! I have discussed various running related injuries and the importance of stretching on our blog in the past but wanted to take this opportunity to remind all the runners out there of the benefits of adding sports massage to your marathon training.

Massage Therapy Journal discusses several different types of sports massage that may be beneficial to athletes.

  • Maintenance Massage can be either full body or region specific, targeting only the muscles involved in the sport. The goal of this type of sports massage is to support the athlete during their training regimen.

  • Recovery Massage can be used to help an athlete recover from an intense workout or competition. It will also facilitate continuation of training and the prevention of injury and/or fatigue.

  • Pre-event Massage prepares the athlete for an imminent competition and is performed briskly and superficially. The purpose of this type of massage is to ready the muscles that will be used during the event. Deeper pressure is not used during this treatment type so no recovery time is required and the client is left pain free and able to participate in their event unencumbered.

  • Post-event Massage is intended to help the athlete return to homeostasis immediately following an event. Benefits of this form of massage include reduced muscle tension and soreness, increased relaxation through withdrawal of the sympathetic influence of competition, and enhanced circulation.

Sports massage therapy does not use any special techniques. The type of sport being performed and timing of the massage in relation to the event determine techniques and pressure used during a treatment. Consider what a massage can do for your post-event training as we approach the marathon this weekend and don't hesitate to contact our office with any questions you may have!

Resnick, Portia B, et al. “Sports Massage: Injury + Recovery.” Massage Therapy Journal, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 46–76.

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