Sports massage is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is commonly also referred to as soft tissue therapy and is beneficial for people wanting to recover from a soft tissue injury or guard against one.
Sports massage helps identify and loosen areas of tightness helping to stop them developing into injuries. It can improve the recovery from injury by helping to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and stress and is an area where regularity may help. The more often you go to a sports massage therapist the more impact they can have through learning your body and knowing where to focus. It may also improve joint flexibility and mobility and reduce the risk of injury during exercise. For example a study in the journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2010 found improved hip-flexor range of motion even from a 30 second massage.
Sports massage is regulated on a voluntary basis rather than by legal statute which means that the title sports massage is not protected, so it is worth checking the credentials of the person you are seeing to ensure they are a member of an industry association such as the Sports Massage Association (SMA).
Paul Medlicott the Chair of the SMA says "The Sports Massage Association sets education standards for their members that help to ensure clients receive the most appropriate treatment for their personal requirements."
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