Sports Recovery Massage

brendan scott massage kinesiologist

Article by Brendan Scott

sports recovery massage

What is Sports Recovery Massage?

Recovery massage is the application of massage techniques performed as soon as possible following an event in order to reduce muscle tension, soreness and recovery time.

What are the Main Goals of Recovery Massage?

The primary goal of recovery massage is to reduce the amount of recovery time required by the athlete. However, the following are also important goals of treatment;

  • Reduce muscular tension
  • Reduce immediate muscle soreness and prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
  • Prevent injury
  • Promote a state of relaxation
  • Relieve increased muscle tone 

How Can a Recovery Massage Help Your Physical Sporting Performance?

  • Reduce the chance of injury
  • Improve power and performance by increasing muscular flexibility and joint range of motion
  • Increase vascular flow to tissues, maximizing nutrient and oxygen supply
  • Improve elimination of lactic and carbonic waste products, which result from muscle contraction during physical activity
  • Shorten recovery time post event
  • Decrease fatigue

How Can a Recovery Massage Help Psychological Sporting Performance?

Research has identified massage to cause vasodilation in the skin and muscles through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system receptors. So while post-event massage is commonly of a deeper nature, it can promote a sense of relief and relaxation after the event, even if the deep treatment is painful. A massage following highly intense physical activity also helps to reduce mental and physical fatigue.

What Techniques Will Your Massage Therapist Use?

The techniques your massage therapist will use are highly dependent on how soon after the event you seek treatment. For treatment 30 minutes-24 hours following an event, a softer approach will be taken. The therapist will draw upon Swedish massage techniques such as effleurage and petrissage and will work to gently stretch affected muscles and encourage vascular supply to the tissues. At this stage, your therapist may apply ice therapy to affected areas if inflammation, pain and swelling is present.

For treatment 24-72 hours following an event, the therapist will commonly take a deeper approach to treatment, drawing upon deep tissue techniques, providing no injuries have been sustained. These techniques will ensure those deep knots are released and flexibility increased.

When is the Best Time to have a Recovery Massage?

Generally the sooner after an event, the better the time to have a post-event sports massage. However, how soon you have a massage after the event will determine how your massage therapist will approach treatment.

Massages 30-minutes to 24 hours following an event will be shorter in duration; (generally 30 minutes) and will draw upon softer more relaxing techniques.

If you are after a deep tissue post event massage, we recommend you book your treatment 24 to 72 hours flowing the event. This is because the muscle tissues have experienced micro-trauma to the contractile proteins, which results in heightened sensitivity and tenderness. These massage session may be longer in duration, usually 45 to 90-minutes.

More info:

  • When is the Best Time for Your Post-Event Recovery Massage?
  • How Can You Guarantee Yourself a Fantastic Massage?

    At PhysioWorks, we guarantee that you’ll have a fantastic massage or its free! If you are not completely satisfied within the first 30 minutes of your massage, we’ll give you your money back there and then - No questions asked!

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    Common Massage Styles

    Massage FAQs

  • Which PhysioWorks Clinics Offer Remedial Massage?
  • What’s the Difference Between Remedial & Relaxation Massage?
  • Massage Styles and their Benefits
  • What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
  • What is the PhysioWorks Massage Guarantee?
  • Why are Physioworks Massage Therapists in High Demand?
  • What About Private Health Fund Rebates?
  • How Can I Purchase a Massage Gift Voucher?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What Conditions Benefit from Massage?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • When is the Best Time for a Pre-Event Massage?
  • When is the Best Time for Your Post-Event Recovery Massage?
  • Massage Related DIY Products

    Soft Tissue Massage

    Book Your Massage at Ashgrove PhysioWorks

    Phone: 3366 4221

    Book Online - 24 hours!

    Purchase Massage Gift Voucher Online

    More info: Massage Ashgrove

    Book Your Massage at Clayfield PhysioWorks

    Phone: 3862 4544

    Book Online - 24 hours!

    Purchase Massage Gift Voucher Online

    More info: Massage Clayfield

    Book Your Massage at Sandgate PhysioWorks

    Phone: 3269 1122

    Book Online - 24 hours!

    Purchase Massage Gift Voucher Online

    More info: Massage Sandgate

    Related Treatment Options

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Foam Roller
  • Stretching Exercises
  • TENS Machine
  • Last updated 27-Aug-2016 04:36 PM

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