Today I have a guest post written by Bethany Widdicombe at Running Stats – a website devoted to runners!
How Massage Therapy Can Prevent Injury
If your muscles are constantly sore, or your body is fatigued from injury, then you may want to consider massage therapy as an option for recovery and future prevention.
Your body needs proper circulation to heal and repair itself. Without good circulation, your body will only compensate with other muscles, which can cause misalignment and lack of balance. Massage therapy works with your body to alleviate pain and improve your range of motion so you can run happy, strong, and healthy.
Preventing Injury With Proper Circulation
Prepare your body for the intensity of running by loosening your muscles before increasing the intensity of your workout. Proper circulation gives your body the flow and movement it needs to stay healthy and injury free. Pairing massage therapy with compression gear can also greatly increase your blood flow and limit the possibility of repeated injury.
Whether you are experiencing a chronic issue, or have a recent injury, massage therapy can encourage the body to heal faster by supplying oxygen and nutrients through the bloodstream.
Your body builds up lactic and uric acid as you exercise, which can be sore and painful when you are trying to build up muscle. Increasing your blood flow through massage therapy can combat the buildup of lactic acid and have you feeling more refreshed during your training process.
Stay Pain Free
Recovering from an injury can be a painful and emotionally draining process. Pain is your body sending a signal that something is wrong and needs repair.
Injuries like iliotibial syndrome, runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and achilles tendonitis can all be relieved and prevented through the recovery process of massage therapy. A massage therapist with the right skills and knowledge will know how to listen to your body’s need and provide the pressure and circulation that your sore muscles are desperately seeking.
Improve your performance capacity by encouraging your lymphatic system to respond to better circulation for a healthier feeling. Athletes experience 60 percent more strength recovery after massage therapy as opposed to the 14 percent recovery in those who do not do massage therapy. Which means, you will spend more time running injury free while pairing your training with massage therapy.
Image credit: ten.co.uk
The Style of Massage
How often you go for massage therapy depends on your budget, availability, and need. Getting a massage every month or so can boost circulation, but it will not help for long-term recovery. If you are training hard or struggle with chronic issues, then you may want to consider going to massage therapy more often.
There are several different styles of massage that can assist with sports injury recovery.
Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point, and sports specific massage all cater towards loosening your muscles and providing better blood flow. Reflexology or shiatsu massage can focus on trigger points that can also help other parts of your body respond.
Massage therapy is about taking care of your body and helping it heal from the demands of running. By providing proper circulation for a faster recovery, you will be well on your way to your best running performance yet.
Take your running health seriously by knowing ways to help you prevent injury. Whether you are figuring out how many miles a 5k is, or are a well-seasoned runner, massage therapy can guide you to healthier living and running.
Take care of your body by preventing injury with better circulation.
Bethany Widdicombe is a runner at heart, a researcher by nature, and a writer by passion. Having traveled across the world, she continues to be an advocate for awareness and knowledge that empowers people to a better life. You can now find her running out on the trail, or nestled away writing her next article for Running Stats.