Written by: Jennifer Penfold Grogan, CMT
Do you have a nagging injury or a chronic pain that you just can’t seem to get to heal? Have you tried other sports remedies to relieve the pain with unsatisfactory results?
Maybe it is time to try massage.
Massage is not only for relaxation. With proper techniques and pressure, massage can reduce spasms and cramping in overworked muscles, relax and soften injured muscle tissue, reduce recovery time between workouts, increase joint flexibility, release endorphins ( the body’s natural painkillers), reduce post –surgery adhesions and scar tissue and increase range-of –motion.
Many people are unaware that deep tissue, neuromuscular and sports massage can be very beneficial in the healing process. Often, problems that occur during a workout are caused by tight and constricted muscle tissue. Frequently, this tissue has been damaged for a considerable time and may not have ever fully healed from a prior injury. Scar tissue forms creating tight and contracted muscle tissue that cannot function to full capacity.
Deep tissue and cross fiber techniques, massage breaks down the adhesions of scar tissue to release muscles for optimum performance. This technique is beneficial even years after a trauma, surgery or injury.
Neuromuscular massage techniques are utilized when a muscle spasms in the body. The blood flow to the area is severely decreased and sometimes ceases all together. With diminished blood flow there is not enough oxygen for the muscle to work properly, causing a buildup of lactic acid resulting in muscle soreness.
This effect can be exacerbated when a muscle spasm places pressure in a nerve of a series of nerves. This can cause numbness and tingling, which are common side effects of muscle soreness and pain.
Neuromuscular therapy locates the “trigger point” associated with the pain and through use of intense concentrated pressure alleviates the pain, sometimes in one session. Other benefits of neuromuscular massage include increased flexibility, wider range of motion, more balanced posture and increased energy.
Sports massage techniques are used to enhance performance, reduce recovery time, and increase strength and stamina. It is used to decrease inflammation in joints and tissues due to overuse and injury as well as flush lactic acid and other waste products from tissues that accumulate during workouts.
If you have an injury or persistent, nagging issue that has not been resolved or diminished by other forms of therapy, it’s time to give massage a try. You may be surprised at the results.