Sport massage

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Last Medical Review: April 9, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Luis Alberto Vallejo
Sports Massage: Overview and Benefits (April 9, 2020)
site2 (April 9, 2020)

What is sports massage?

It is the manual physical medium that treats the athlete to improve performance and prevent injuries.

The sports massage consists of a series of maneuvers that are carried out as a method of preparation for the tissues, as for the treatment of post-competition tissues and for the control of the tissues between each sports activity.

Sports massage aims to:

  • Optimize muscle performance
  • Prevent injuries
  • Find injuries
  • Support in the treatment of injuries
  • Fight against fatigue
  • Increase work capacity

This specific type of massage works by activating the circulation of fluids, accelerating the elimination of waste, toxins and other waste materials, as well as increasing the oxygenation of the muscle.

The moment in which the massage is done to the athlete is very important since it favors the concentration, introspection and emotionality of the athlete for the competition.

The athlete requires that his body be at its best to opt for the win in a sports activity, sports massage, it is at this point of great utility to achieve apart from the therapeutic effect, the contribution of confidence and security that every athlete needs to win a test. But, for this, the massage must be performed by a professional in the science of Physical Therapy.

Stages of sports massage

1- Preparatory or pre competitive:

  • It is done between 6- 24 hours or 15 minutes before the activity.
  • Use techniques of: Rubbing and Friction
  • It’s fast and strong
  • Lasts 5 minutes in each zone.

2-Recovery or competitive post:

It is done in the first 30 minutes after the activity or within the next 6 hours.

  • It uses techniques of: Vibration, Percussion, Crossing out, pinching, shaking.
  • It lasts about 10 minutes.


It is used for diagnosis and treatment.

  • It should be carried out at least once a week.
  • It uses techniques of: Kneading, palpation and rubbing.

Effects of sports massage

Effects on preparatory massage:

  • Increased muscle wakefulness
  • Increased circulation
  • Increase in muscle temperature
  • Increase elasticity
  • Eliminates myalgia and areas of peripheral muscular adhesion.

Effects on recovery massage:

  • It acts on hypertonic muscles, fatigued muscles and full of catabolites
  • Blood supply
  • Decrease contractures
  • Facilitates waste disposal.

Effects on maintenance massage:

  • Maintains elasticity
  • Diagnose trigger points and myalgias
  • Eliminate muscle fatigue
  • Maintains muscle trophism

Sliding means in sports massage

A correct oil to massage the athlete further increases the expected effect. To use them properly, it is necessary to know the time to apply them, if it is before or after the sport.

Some examples of beneficial oils in therapeutic massage are:

  • Calophyllum oil has analgesic effects.
  • Calendula oil is anti-inflammatory.
  • Camphor rosemary oil serves to deflate and relax the muscle.

For the pre-competitive sports massage, the combination of glycerin with alcohol is recommended, so that glycerin is the sliding medium and alcohol is hot muscle. In the same way you can use some hot gel. Thus the blood vessels of the muscle are vasodilated and carry the necessary nutrients for competition.

For sports recovery massage, it is used with soap to clean the sweat and obtain a good sliding medium to give the massage.

For sports maintenance massage, it is recommended to use oil or cream.

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