Eastbourne Physio & Sports Massage Clinic

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Sports Massage

Very often it is thought that sports massage (in particular the decontracting one) is only useful for professional athletes.
In reality, sports massage is a very suitable treatment also for non-competitive athletes and to solve some localised diseases, sometimes not even related to sports.

Very often it is thought that sports massage (in particular the decontracting one) is only useful for professional athletes.
In reality, sports massage is a very suitable treatment also for non-competitive athletes and to solve some localised diseases, sometimes not even related to sports.
Let’s try to put some order, explaining what sports (and decontracting) massage is and what it is for.
The different types of sports massage
Pre-race sports massage: preparatory to the muscular effort. Through very rapid and never too deep maneuvers, vascularization and muscle temperature increase. It supports and does not replace the heating phase and serves to minimize the possibility of incurring muscle injuries.
Post-race sports massage: it takes place immediately after a race or sports performance and helps muscle recovery. The maneuvers, in this case, are very slow (always not very deep) and relax the muscles favoring drainage. This type of massage helps muscle and general relaxation, accelerates the disposal of lactic acid, and helps to heal from small microtraumas.
Sports maintenance massage and decontracting sports massage: it takes place not earlier than 48 hours after the competition or sports performance. In this case, the maneuvers are very deep and sometimes even painful and help “stretch” the muscle fibers.
What it is and what it is used for the decontracting sports massage
The decontracting sports massage is a manual treatment that has the function of reactivating the connective tissues and dissolving the muscular contractions through hyperthermia (temperature increase) and through the use of specific manual techniques that only the physiotherapists or professional masseurs are able to perform.
Let us briefly explain how it works: during sporting activities, especially in the presence of intense efforts, excessive muscular tensions can arise which give rise to small muscle contractions. There are, in other words, areas in which groups of myofibrils (elementary units of contraction), following the contraction, do not return to the “resting position”. This condition, in addition to compromising performance, is the antechamber to more serious muscle injuries.
Furthermore, always during physical activity, following the muscular work we have increased production of “waste substances” (lactic acid, metabolites, and toxins) that end up accumulating because the body cannot dispose of them.
The decontracting sports massage acts mainly on these two aspects, speeding up the disposal of waste and “dissolving” the small contractions of the myofibrils. This accelerates recovery times, reduces pain, and helps prevent injuries.
Other benefits of decontracting sports massage are direct action on the fascia and on the contractile units (tension loosening), the increase in blood flow (and tissue oxygenation) in the treated areas, the direct action due to the stimulation of the terminations nerve and the restoration of complete joint mobility as well as muscle elasticity.
Finally, it is also useful in the presence of tissue adhesions: in fact, it acts with “detachment” maneuvers on the fibrous membrane of connective tissue that covers the muscles separating them from the different body structures.