Sports injuries affect well over eight million Americans each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Health Statistics Report.
Whether you're a serious athlete or a recreational one, massage is an effective tool used to treat sports-related pains. Whether you have a slight strain or something more serious, take a look at the many benefits of massage
Over-working your muscles can lead to tiny tears in their fibers. The result is an immune response that leads to inflammation. Inflammation, or swelling, can make movement difficult and cause physical discomfort. This pain makes addressing the injury as soon as possible absolutely necessary.
The preferred method of reduction for activity-induced inflammation depends on the person with the problem, their needs, their physical health and health history, and their medical provider's recommendations. Commons treatments include:
- Medications. Anti-inflammatory prescription or over the counter drugs. Always consult a medical provider before taking any medication.
- Heat. A heating pad can reduce pain and decrease muscle-related swelling.
- Stretching. Moving the muscle gently (and preferably under the guidance of a physical therapy or similar professional) can increase blood flow and decrease inflammation.
- Massage. Massage can reduce inflammation causing cytokines and decrease swelling.
Using massage to reduce inflammation requires a professional's touch - literally. A trained massage therapist understands the human body, the inflammation process, and how massage can stop swelling in a way that is not reliant on the use of medication.
Decrease Chronic Pain
Repeated sports injuries or injuries that result in chronic pain may benefit from massage. Some research indicates that there's a connection between massage (especially deep tissue massage) and reduction of chronic muscle or physical pain.
Lower back sprains and strains are common adult athletic activity-related injuries. Among the recent research on chronic pain and massage, several studies have shown that this type of therapy is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from back issues.
As with any injury or chronic pain, always consult a doctor or qualified medical provider to rule out a serious condition. Baring injuries that require surgical attention, a deep tissue massage is an option that could help you to heal without needing medication.
Lessen Muscle Fatigue
The more you exercise, the more fatigue your muscles experience. This fatigue decreases your ability to effectively move, making additional activity challenging at best. While muscle fatigue doesn't always indicate an injury, it contributes to pain and discomfort felt in the post-exercise time.
While massage alone won't cure post-activity muscle fatigue, it can increase blood flow to the area and alleviate some of the symptoms. This process can increase range of motion and allow you to get back to your workout or athletic activity sooner than you would without receiving any treatment.
Reduce Recovery Time
Unless you've broken, torn, or seriously injured a muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, or other part of your muscular/skeletal systems, it's likely your body will heal on its own over time.
But that doesn't mean you have to live with pain and discomfort while you wait. If you choose not to receive any treatment, your sport-related injury can take longer to heal. Massage is an easy way to reduce your recovery time and get back to your life sooner.
Decrease Post-Injury Stress
Beyond decreasing the time it takes your body to naturally heal, massage can help you to relax. Injuries (whether they're minor or major) are stressful. If your sports-related injury affects your daily life, your job, or your independence, massage is a beneficial way to reduce anxiety.
Do you have an activity- or sports-related injury that is causing pain, discomfort, or ongoing issues? Contact Asiami Oriental Massage of Doral for more information on your healing options.