After a hard workout, an athlete’s body may experience severe aches and pains. During exercise, muscles become strained and tight, resulting in discomfort. Athletes may have to wait long periods of time between workouts to allow their bodies to recover. However, methods exist to reduce recovery time and refresh muscles, such as sports massage therapy. Several types of sports massages exist; some target points of injury, while others simply maintain performance and allow for a smooth post-activity recovery. Deep tissue therapy addresses an athlete’s tightest points. In this variation, tissue kneading is slower than a traditional massage while applying more pressure, allowing muscle adhesions to loosen. Trigger point massages apply slowly-increasing pressure to injured parts of the inner skeletal muscle. This allows any part of fascia, the membrane that covers all muscles, to return to normal if it is currently restricted. Thus, tough points grow softer, ending discomfort.
Regular maintenance massages do not target injuries, but keep certain muscles relaxed for future performance. The focused areas change dependent on an athlete’s sport. Finally, post-activity therapy is used to prevent next-day stiffness and soreness by facilitating the removal of lactate, a compound that builds up after exercise. Recovery massages also promote circulation that may have been disrupted during physical activity. Physical activity may lead to painful recovery, but sports massage therapy effectively addresses any discomfort. With multiple varieties to target an athlete’s specific need, no struggle is necessary to get back on the playing field.