Any athlete will understand the importance of maintaining their health in order to keep up with the physical demands of their sport. If you’ve recently sustained an injury, it is important to make sure that you are keeping up with your physical therapy treatments, in order to regain your optimum levels of physical function. Many physical therapy treatment plans will incorporate therapeutic massage as a way to relieve pain and promote healing. There are several benefits to therapeutic massage – here are the top 5:
1. Therapeutic massage improves posture.
When coupled with other kinds of physical therapy, massage can do a lot of good for your posture. Massage helps bring your body into an optimal place of alignment, which can naturally improve your posture. Better posture has multiple benefits for athletes. When you maintain a proper posture, your body can move at its peak at all times — which means you’ll be playing your sport with a bit of a natural advantage built in.
2. Therapeutic massage increases circulation.
Regular massage during your physical therapy program can considerably improve your circulation. Better circulation means that your muscles get the blood supply needed in order to prevent stiffness and tension. Your muscles will work and feel better after a therapeutic massage.
3. Therapeutic massage decreases scar tissue.
When you’re injured, your body forms adhesions around the injury, which are bands of tough scar tissue. These adhesions can cause serious pain, restrict your movement, and delay your recovery for a lengthy amount of time if they are not treated. A therapeutic massage can efficiently deal with those adhesions. Your physical therapist can use specific targeted techniques to unbind your muscles and break up the adhesions. This is an important component of your physical therapy program because being adhesion-free is essential for both pain relief and for your range of motion.
4. Therapeutic massage improves the immune system.
Sickness can be extra hard on athletes. Just one bad cold or flu can keep you out away from the sport you love for weeks — and you might not feel your best for quite sometime after that, as well. Fortunately, massage helps boost your immune system’s natural defenses. During a massage, your body is prompted to power up its natural cytotoxic capacity, which means your immune system will be able to fight off illness, germs, and bacteria more effectively.
5. Therapeutic massage relaxes muscles.
While muscle relaxation is the best-known benefit of massage, it takes on whole new importance for an athlete. Muscle pain, soreness, and tightness are all things that you expect as an athlete — but the good news is that you can greatly decrease these issues with regular therapeutic massage. Even after you’ve completed a physical therapy program following an injury, you could still benefit from regular massages with your physical therapist.
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Keeping your body in a strong condition is a large part of being an athlete. Physical therapy can help you with that. Your physical therapist will assess your condition and prescribe the best treatment plan for your needs. Therapeutic massage can help you feel your best, even if you only participate in treatments once or twice a month. By taking the time to improve your physical health, you’ll be able to perform at your optimum levels of function.
Do you want to relieve your pain, recover from an injury, or simply improve your athletic performance? Contact StepUp Physical Therapy today to confirm your appointment and find out for yourself how therapeutic massage can benefit you!