As you may know from my previous blog, Meet your Remedial Massage Therapist, I worked for a year with East Campbelltown Rugby League Club. Many of the players saw massage as their rub down before a game, but Sports Massage is more than just a rub down.
Remedial Massage and Sports Massage are very similar in the fact that they are treating people with certain injuries, conditions or for reasons they need to be able to perform. Whether it be in sport, at work or with their children. Sports Massage is probably the best term for what I did with the East Campbelltown team and it really does have its own techniques and protocol.
Sports Massage is used for warming up a player before a game through a use of techniques to encourage increased blood flow to the muscles that are about to get smashed… I mean about to work hard. The movements are usually fast and vigorous.
Following a game, Sports Massage is used to cool down a player. Many years ago it was about removing toxins and lactic acid from muscles but recent research is debunking the whole toxin removal theory. Sport Massage is useful in preventing muscle stiffness and soreness following a game. The Massage techniques applied start out similar to the warm up to get everything moving and aim towards the heart. The massage then slow down to bring them back down to earth and almost relaxed.
During the week I was also on hand to treat any injuries that occurred during previous games and give advice on how to care for these injuries. I could also make referral to a physiotherapist or send to their doctor if required.
I always had a rule that I wouldn’t treat injuries on the day or even the day before a game. Sports Massage and Remedial Massage can be like a workout in itself and your body needs recovery time. Another reason I set this rule is that at half time I’d get players asking if I could rub out their corked thigh. That’s a big No! A corked thigh is where the muscle is squished between their bone and usually a knee from another player. it causes damage to the muscle and internal bleeding in the muscle. The first thing you always do is ICE. Cold helps to stops the internal bleeding. Over the next couple of days you will get an awesome bruise and experience pain but when appropriate, Remedial Massage can help to realign the muscle fibres and improve movement through that muscle again.
I love working with sports players as much as pregnant women despite the two being so very different, as it allows me to show how massage is versatile and can be applied to the needs of the individual.