Summer is well and truly in full swing, and summer sports are beginning to take their toll on muscles and joints. Whether it’s cricket, baseball, softball or swimming that you love, injuries can put a real dent in your performance, not to mention cause you a great deal of pain.
One thing that most people neglect is the idea of PREHAB. Most of us wait until we have an injury before taking proper care of ourselves. Remember that old saying ‘an ounce of prevention’? This is especially true in sports.
Massage may seem like an indulgence or an unnecessary expense. But it can significantly reduce your risk of injury and improve performance.
Massage will help with elongating your muscles, which helps to keep them loose, and less prone to injury, whilst maintaining good range of motion and fluid movement. The increased blood flow and oxygenation of the muscle will also help with the micro-trauma caused by overuse, and avoid the formation of scar tissue.
One of the most common areas of injury in summer sports is the shoulder. The shoulder joint – or rotator cuff – is the joint that offers the widest range of motion in the body. The muscles and tendons are also closely surrounded by the bones of your shoulder socket, so there is not much room for swelling or inflammation before blood flow is impinged, which can increase damage.
Cricketers also often suffer hamstring and medial meniscus injuries, as well as lower back pain and elbow injuries. With swimmers, it’s all about the shoulders, and for Baseball and Softball players shoulders and elbows are the most common area of injury.
By including regular massage in your training routine, the risk of injury can be avoided, and you will probably find your game improved by the increased fluidity of movement and reduced tightness in your muscles. Timing your massages to provide the optimum benefit in your training and game schedule is also important. Your massage therapist can advise you on how many days before and after training or a game you should schedule your massage to get the best effects.
Even with the best of preparation, injuries can still occur. If you do suffer an injury, light Rehab massage can help with recovery, building up to deep tissue massage as the injury heals.
If you are a keen summer sports participant and would like to talk about how massage in both Prehab and Rehab can help your performance, call our Baulkham Hills Clinic on (02) 9639 7337 to talk to one of our Remedial Massage Therapists or make an appointment. Your muscles – and your team – will thank you!