As an athlete, you already know that you’ve got to maintain optimal health if you want to keep playing the sport you love. Physical therapy with an experienced physical therapist is a big part of that, especially when you’re recovering from an injury. One of the main parts of a good physical therapy regimen after an injury involves therapeutic massage. Below, you’ll learn five of the best benefits of therapeutic massage for athletes. Call Excellcare Physical Therapy now to learn more about how massage can help you live pain-free.
1. Improved Circulation
Regular massage during your physical therapy program can improve circulation considerably. Better circulation means that your muscles get the blood supply needed to prevent stiffness and tension. Your muscles will work and feel better after therapeutic massage.
2. Improved Immune System
Sickness can be extra hard on athletes. Just one bad cold or flu can keep you out of the game you love for weeks — and you might feel less than your best for quite a while after that, too. Fortunately, massage helps boost your immune system’s natural defenses. During massage, your body is prompted to power up its natural cytotoxic capacity, which basically means that you’ll be better able to fight off germs, bacteria and illness more effectively.
3. Less Scar Tissue
When you’re injured, your body forms adhesions — bands of tough scar tissue — around the injury. These adhesions can restrict your movement, cause serious pain, and can delay your recovery for a very long time if they’re not treated. Your physical therapy massage can deal with those adhesions very efficiently. Your physical therapist can use specific targeted techniques that break up the adhesions, which unbinds your muscles. This is a very important component of your physical therapy program because being adhesion-free is important for both pain relief and for your range of motion.
4. Muscle Relaxation
While muscle relaxation is the best-known benefit of massage, it takes on a whole new importance for an athlete. Muscle soreness, tightness and pain 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 might benefit from regular massages with your physical therapist.
5. Improved Posture
Massage, when coupled with other kinds of physical therapy, 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’ve got good posture, your body can move at its peak, all the time — and this means that you’re playing your sport with a bit of a natural advantage built in.
As an athlete, your body needs to be in the best condition at all times. This means that after an injury, you’ve got to recover with the help of a physical therapy program designed by an expert physical therapist. It also means that you need to recognize the importance of health maintenance. Something as simple as a therapeutic massage once or twice a month can help you feel your very best, and this means that you’ll be able to be at your peak for every game.
If you’re looking for noninvasive solutions for pain and injury or if you just want to be the best athlete you can be, call our Chicago, IL physical therapy team now to get started with an expert physical therapist.