Exercise and Massage for Sports
Numerous studies have been conducted regarding the effect of sport massages on athletes. A majority of these studies have given mixed results. One study which compared professional athletes to controls found no significant differences in the amount of muscle soreness. Another study that compared professional athletes to controls showed significant improvement in muscle pain for athletes who received massage. However there was no significant improvements in the health of those who didn't receive massage. Similar results were observed in another study , which compared active athletes to The original source non-athletes.
There aren't enough studies showing that sports massage can actually improve athletic performance, but a few studies have shown that it can assist in reducing the recovery time of athletes. In one study, researchers discovered that massage therapy reduced recovery time of athletes who took part in a high-intensity exercise program. In another study, participants who followed an exercise with a maximum workload had significantly higher performance than those who received an Sports massage. Another study revealed that therapists who massaged sports had a significant influence on the physical performance of overweight adolescents.
A study comparing lactic acids production in injured and control groups did not find any difference between the groups. But the researchers concluded that the effects of massage may depend on who the massage was given to. Researchers found that lactic acids were released at a greater rate in the control group than in the exercise group, and were significantly lower after the session. However, the injured group showed greater amount of lactic acid and it remained higher after the session. One possible explanation for this finding is that the elevated lactic acid production could reduce the threshold for pain in injured patients and lead to greater perceived exertion during exercise.
There are many theories about how sport massage could improve the performance of athletes. Athletes' faster recovery from injury is possible according to experts in physiology. The same theory proposes that athletes can benefit from stretching the muscles that are superficial to the arms and shoulders to strengthen their muscles. Another theory suggests that the muscles that are tighter and shorter in the lower part of the body can speed up the recovery time for athletes who perform intense sports during competition. And a strong abdominal core helps to prevent spasms and cramps that happen to athletes during intense exercise.
Massage therapy for athletes can help increase their flexibility and muscle strength. Stretching muscles can help them become more flexible and willing to move and train. However as athletes continue to exercise the muscles will eventually become tight and limit their motion. To relieve this pain in the muscles athletes must do exercises to loosen up tight muscle groups. Massage therapy for sports can help with this.
Studies have shown that athletes feel a significant increase in cortisol levels when they exercise or performing high intensity. This stress hormone is a signal for physical stress. Studies have shown that this increase in cortisol levels leads to a greater strength of muscles and endurance performance during periods of moderate intensity exercise. The endurance performance of athletes was measured before and after they completed 30 sprints. During sprints, muscle twitch activity was measured, and the results showed an increase in strength after the sprints.
The increase in muscle strength was due to the increased amount of glycogen found in the muscles. Glycogen is an energy source found in muscles during vigorous exercising. When the athlete is subject to intense physical exertion large amounts of glycogen are released by the body. This allows the athlete to replenish the energy lost during sprints. A study by researchers from the University of Northumbria in the UK showed that performing short sprints before a bout of competitive cycling led to a significant increase in muscle glycogen.
The findings of these studies indicate that massage therapy for sports can be beneficial to athletes both when they are exercising and after it. However, one must remember that all of these studies were performed on healthy non-athletes. If you suffer from any condition that impact circulation, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or high blood pressure, it is recommended to consult with your physician prior to starting any therapy.