Sports massage is designed to break down scar tissue (adhesions) in affected soft tissue (e.g. muscle, ligaments, and tendons). When the scar tissue is broken down this improves the flow of blood and lymph fluid, which lets the injured muscle stretch and enhances flexibility.
Sports massage is most beneficial in realigning soft tissue fibres. Injury tends to lead to lengthened and/or stiff fibres. By breaking them down, this allows the new fibres being produced to be at optimal length, i.e. a natural length! Having the muscle fibres treated will not only lengthen them but will give you more range of movement within that area.
There’s always someone who tells you that sports massage is really painful, causes bruising, and isn’t pleasant. But in reality, this shouldn’t be the case. In order to create the lengthening of the muscle fibres, yes, there may need to be a bit of pressure placed on the muscles, but it’s all about the techniques you use and the way they’re performed. Using a slow tempo is the best way of performing sports massage with the most minimal pain as this makes the client feel at ease and there isn’t a sudden, sharp movement upon the muscle itself.
Within the breaking down of scar tissue, the pressure that’s applied causes pain to be reduced and any inflammation to usually decrease.
At least 75% of the clients I’ve seen since working at Fire & Earth David Lloyd have heard some sort of story about sports massage being very painful or they know someone who’s had a bad experience with sports massage. Fire & Earth therapists are highly trained and will check with our clients to make sure they’re not uncomfortable in any way.
So it’s part of our job to educate people on the way that sports massage should be performed. We explain that sports massage is designed to improve either flexibility, soreness, pain, or any injuries in the most comfortable way possible. Our massage uses a slow and deep tempo and is enjoyable as well as therapeutic. We think that in 2020 more and more people will choose sports massage over anything else in order to get back to peak fitness and winning ways.