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Massage Therapy for Athletes
- Effleurage—vigorous muscle stroking
- Petrissage—kneading and rolling of the muscle
- Tapotement—rapid striking of the muscle
- Compression—pressure applied over a broad area by pushing down on the muscles with the open palm of the hand
- Trigger point therapy—concentrated finger pressure applied to trigger points to relieve the tension in the surrounding area
Not Just a One Shot Deal
Do Not Touch
Is Massage for You?
- The therapist will need to know about your current and past medical conditions and exercise routines.
- You will need to undress to a level you feel comfortable with and lie down on a padded table with a sheet draped over your body. The therapist will undrape only the part of your body being massaged.
- Do not be discouraged if you do not leave your first session feeling completely loose and pain free. It may take several visits before you feel the benefits.
- The cost of a massage varies depending on locality, experience of the therapist, and type of massage. Do your research.
- Some insurance plans will cover the cost of a massage that is prescribed by your primary care physician and administered by a licensed therapist. Therefore, it is best to choose a licensed practitioner or get a referral from your doctor. You may need to try out several therapists to find the best one for you.
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) http://www.amtamassage.org
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine http://nccam.nih.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Massage Therapy http://www.massage.ca
Alvarez D, Rockwell P. Trigger points: diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2002 Feb 15;65(4):653-661.
Benefits of massage therapy. Freemont College website. Available at: http://www.fremont.edu/2011/04/benefits-of-massage-therapy-for-athletes/. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Cafarelli E, Flint F. The role of massage in preparation for and recovery from exercise: an overview. Sports Medicine. 1992;14:1-9.
Callaghan MJ. The role of massage in the management of the athlete: a review. Brit J Sports Med. 1993;27:28-33.
Massage. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com. Updated July 2012. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Massage therapy: an introduction. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website. Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/massage/massageintroduction.htm. Updated August 2010. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Tiidus PM. Manual massage and recovery of muscle function following exercise: a literature review. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1997;25:107-112.
Tiidus PM, Shoemaker JK. Effleurage massage, muscle blood flow and long-term post-exercise strength recovery. Inter J Sports Med. 1995;16:478-483.
Rodenburg JB, Steenbeek D, Schiereck P, Bar PR. Warm-up, stretching and massage diminish harmful effects of eccentric exercise. Inter J Sports Med. 1994;15:414-419.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013
- Update Date: 03/07/2013