Injuries can seriously affect your performance. Massage has a role to play in helping you recover from injuries. However massage is most effective at optimising your performance when not injured.
When the body is regularly trained to levels that cause muscles to fatigue (this should happen no matter what level you are at!) resources are over used and tissues become dysfunctional causing tightness and/or pain. Recovery from this state is a large part of what you are training your body to be good at and the faster you recover the fitter you will get.
In this fatigued state muscles and soft tissues are more likely to develop adhesions, activate trigger points and develop tightness resulting in feeling restricted and sore. Even when the worst of the effects wear off there is often still some left over muscle stiffness, but if you have another training session to attend, you get yourself out there and usually you feel better once have warmed up. Over a period of time though, this can lead to a situation where, like a battery never getting fully charged, you can start to lose your top level of performance.
Sports massage can be a very effective way to mobilise low grade adhesions, eliminate trigger points and promote better flow of blood and lymph. This helps the body to recover more fully from training and gives you back the performance levels that tight and stuck areas in tissues can inhibit.
Building massage into your training and performance schedule helps to:
Boost recovery and performance
Reduce risk of overuse injuries
Promote mobility of tissues and joints
Reduce pain and discomfort
There are four main ways in which massage can be used as part of your training and performance schedule.
Maintenance massage - part of your training schedule and used to aid recovery and treat niggles before they develop, can be quite deep.
Pre-performance - used to boost recovery and usually aims to be firm but not so deep as to cause tenderness.
Post-performance - again boosting recovery and early identification of any issues. Depth of pressure is defined by how sore you are post event!
Remedial massage - used to aid recovery from overuse and acute injuries and get you back up and running but can be deep if appropriate.