Sports massage is a popular form of treatment and prevention of soft tissue sports injuries. We demonstrate simple sports massage techniques and explain the benefits, effects and contraindications of massage.
- A contraindication is a situation when massage should not be performed.
- Continuing with treatment may be more detrimental than beneficial and in some cases may cause serious medical problems.
- More on Massage contraindications
Benefits of sports massage
- Sports massage can play an important part in the life of any sportsman or woman whether they are injured or not.
- Massage has a number of benefits both physical, physiological and psychological.
- More on Massage benefits & effects
Lower Leg & Ankle Massage
Calf strain – Sports massage for calf strains can be used after the initial acute phase has finished. Do not massage in the first 5 days post-injury.
Shin splints – Sports massage & myofascial release for shin splints/medial tibial stress may be beneficial after the first 3 days or so. It is important to avoid the bone as this may worsen symptoms.
Ankle sprain – Cross friction massage can be applied to ankle ligaments can help prevent and realign scar tissue. Massage can also be applied to the calf muscles to aid recovery.
Achilles tendonitis – Sports massage techniques can help with the treatment of Achilles tendon pain. Massage mobilizes the tissues and helps align scar tissue.
Knee Injury Massage
Jumper’s knee – Sports massage can help with treating patella tendinopathy (jumper’s knee). In particular, cross friction massage is applied to the patella tendon.
Thigh & Groin Massage
Hamstring strain – Sports Massage or soft tissue massage or soft tissue massage can be used at this stage but the pressure must be very light and superficial, to begin with, but can gradually get deeper as the days/weeks pass.
Thigh strain – Sports massage may be beneficial after the initial acute stage.
Groin strain – Sports massage may be beneficial once the acute stage has passed. Caution is advised as massaging an injury too soon may increase the bleeding and may make the injury worse.
Arm & Elbow Massage
Tennis elbow – Massage can be a useful treatment for tennis elbow, particularly more chronic conditions. In particular cross friction massage of the tendon insertion but only once the initial inflammation has settled (after 5 days) is done.
AC joint sprain massage – cross friction massage techniques for the acromio-clavicular joint at the top of the shoulder.