How Massage Therapy Helps Muscle Recovery

How Massage Therapy Helps Muscle Recovery

How Massage Therapy Helps Muscle Recovery

How Massage Therapy Helps Muscle Recovery

Massage is a highly effective form of manual therapy that is used in the treatment of many different issues, ranging from stress and insomnia to herniated discs and pinched nerves. It is particularly beneficial as a treatment for muscle recovery, which is one of the reasons it is recommended by chiropractors, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals directly involved in care for both amateur and professional athletes.


What Is Massage Therapy?


Massage therapy is a treatment that aims to relax, revive and heal the body. It does this using manual movements and the manipulation of the muscles and soft tissues. There are many different individual techniques which can be used within massage therapy. The best known is Swedish massage, which uses long, moderate-pressure strokes, kneading, pressing and rolling to create a therapeutic effect. However, there are also more intense techniques which can help to deal with more complex issues, such as trapped nerves and chronic muscle tension.



Your massage therapist will be able to advise you which massage techniques will best suit your individual needs.


What Is Muscle Recovery And When Is It Needed?


Muscle recovery refers to rebuilding muscle tissue after physical activity. This is necessary when you regularly push your muscles to or beyond their usual limit. For example, when you lift heavy weights, it places a great deal of stress on muscle fibers, and tiny micro-injuries (or even larger, more obvious ones) can easily occur. Similarly, when you run, cycle or jump, similar strain can run through the muscles, resulting in damage.



Muscle recovery is a very important, although often overlooked aspect of training. This is because unless your muscles are healthy and strong, you won’t be able to perform to your best in your chosen activity. Worse still, you could put yourself at risk of much more significant injury.



Here are some of the ways in which massage therapy can support a muscle recovery program.



  • Stimulating Blood Flow


One of the most important things that massage does it stimulate blood flow. This sends oxygen and nutrient rich blood around the body to the areas that require it – such as cells in the muscles that have been damaged. This additional blood flow helps to accelerate healing and recovery.



  • Reducing Inflammation


Increased blood flow also helps to counteract inflammation, which is our body’s natural response to illness or injury. Inflammation is responsible for pain, tension and stiffness, so anything that helps to minimize it is beneficial for a swift and strong recovery.



  • Eliminating Pain Without Medication


Another key reason why people choose massage therapy is because it is proven to help reduce pain naturally, and this can help to prevent people becoming reliant on pain medications. This is because massage prompts the release of natural pain-relieving endorphins, as well as counteracting inflammation.



  • Prevent Scar Tissue Formation


Scar tissue doesn’t only form externally. If you regularly suffer from small internal injuries then over time, it is likely that scar tissue will form. You won’t be able to see it, but it could start to affect your range of motion and flexibility. Scar tissue is broken down with deep tissue massages, and this can help you to achieve optimal performance once you recover.




If you would like more information about how massage therapy helps muscle recovery, or to schedule an appointment, call Athlete Recovery Lounge by Sports Performance and Spine at (412) 723 2735 to reach our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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