Sometimes, athletes don’t perform as well as they might because of a recurring injury. Sometimes there is no time for a period of extended rest or proper rehabilitation and most athletes don’t want to miss participating in their sport for any reason, so they return to action and train and compete through the pain even though their injuries have not healed properly. This is where sports rehab massage comes into its own.
For example, an athlete has a recurring bicep problem from an injury sustained by overloading the muscle while training or competing. First of all, their training techniques and biomechanics would need to be assessed as well as their posture and flexibility. Any potential scar tissue formation would also need to be taken into consideration and addressed wherever possible. Massage is great for breaking down scar tissue and helping the muscle to repair itself in a more orderly and flexible manner. The muscles that support the bicep would need to be worked on also. Brachialis, triceps brachii and brachioradialis would all need to be worked on as well as pronator teres and supinator. This would also extend up the arm to the deltoids, pectoralis major, coracobrachialis and the muscles of the rotator cuff. Athletes who suffer from arm pain often wind up with sore shoulder girdles and vice versa.
When an injury is in the chronic stage, compression, effleurage and petrissage of the injured site, range-of-motion movements and trigger point therapy would be advised.
You can advance the treatment to cross-fibre friction as the injury heals and then strengthen and stretch the affected muscle once the athlete can go through a full range of motion without pain. Whatever the course of action in sports rehab massage, an athlete must be allowed ample time to heal and incorporate the massage treatments into his or her training and competing schedules. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to resolve a specific problem properly, but regular sports rehab massages give you the best possible chance of that happening.