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Sports Massage and Running

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

By Cristina Perez Bermejo


SPORTS MASSAGE & RUNNING

According to researchers it’s estimated that 1.6 billion people across the world practice running as a form of exercise or competition.1


A higher number of runners will possibly lead to more running related injuries, but there are some ways of prevention that will decrease the chance of developing one, for example Sports Massage.

Sports massage can play an important role and can be linked to the following aspects:

- Performance enhancement: Tight muscles can cause inflexibility, that would affect to movement pattern and/or lack of strength, which can prevent efficient training and performance.

- Injury prevention: Tightness can be a cause due to soft tissue injuries. Chronic tightness can cause muscle and connective tissue inflammation, resulting in:

Back and shoulder problems, ITB syndrome, Shin splints, Achilles tendinopathy, Plantar fascitis, etc.

- Injury rehabilitation: When undertaken along with medical treatment and sports therapy, deep tissue massage provides a faster recovery for athletes.

Different massage techniques will help breaking down the scar tissue developed by natural tissue healing. It can be also accompanied by joint movements and assisted stretching. 2

Different types of Sports Massage.


Pre-event: help getting the muscles ready for the competition (48 hours in advance).

At the event: warm up for the muscles increasing the blood flow. 15- 45 minutes before the competition.

Post-event: between 24-48 hours after the competition. The massage softens fascia tissue and makes muscles relax, it also removes adhesions between fascia and muscles

Maintenance: between training sessions, it is done one day per week and the goal is injury prevention decreasing muscle tightness and getting the muscles ready for the training and maintain elasticity. 3

The main purpose of Sports Massage is to maintain the athletes physical health, preventing muscle injuries. Some published studies discovered that massage after exercise reduced the intensity of delayed onset muscle soreness4

Crene’s researches published: “ Massage could let runners tolerate more training, and harder training, because it would improve their recovery and speed up their ability to go hard two days later”

Even new runners can benefit from massage, alleviating the soreness that comes with starting a new sport.

Regular massage can boost recovery and be a valuable training tool to help you run your best.5

At Mels Massage, our therapists are experienced in Sports Massage and we will determine the state of the muscle and if it's better to use light strokes or deep-tissue techniques to treat an athlete in a safe and productive way.

Bibliography

1.- Hulteen RM, Smith JJ, Morgan PJ, et al. (2016) Global participation in sport and leisure-time physical activities: a systematic review and metaanalysis. Preventive Medicine 95: 14-25

2.- Catlow, Sarah, and Lance Doggart. "Running smoothly." International Therapist 119 (2017): 18-21

3.- https://www.fisioterapia-online.com/articulos/masaje-deportivo-tipos-y-diferencias-con-otros-masajes#comments

4.- Hilbert, James E., G. A. Sforzo, and T. Swensen. "The effects of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness." British Journal of Sports Medicine 37.1 (2003): 72-75.

5.- http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/the-pros-and-cons-of-massages-for-runners

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