Sports Massage or Massage Therapy for Athletes
Sport Massage - or Therapeutic Massage specific for athletes - is defined as a massage technique suitable for individuals with regular physical activity and performing in high competition. It can also be applied in cases of muscle damage or even in people who travel frequently.
Variables to consider before the massage
Before starting a sport massage, it is necessary to take into account several factors, such as:
- Common areas of tension – shoulders and back. Depending on the sports, also legs and / or arms.
- Schedule and intensity of training and competitions – Compete in the Lisbon Marathon or in the Olympic Games implies an intensity of different training
- Athlete’s Physical Conditions – Weight, height, last resistance tests, speed, flexibility, medical exams, etc.
- State of the muscle tissue where the massage will be applied
- Athlete's medical history – medications, medical examinations, diseases, performed surgeries, etc.
- Sports practiced – the muscles used in football are not the same as those used to practice handball, for example.
Categories of Sports Massage
- Event: These massages are marked according to the calendar of sporting events. They can be carried out pre-event (preparation for the effort); Inter-event (between training and competitions) and post-event (effort recovery). Usually massages with a lot of rhythm, duration and focused on the large muscle groups
- Maintenance: the objectives are to prevent future injuries, minimize negative effects that may result from physical exercise and work on the muscle’s flexibility.
- Treatment: Occur after a muscle or tendon injury or due to a decreased performance.
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