Sports Massage Techniques

Neuromuscular Techniques (pertaining to both nerves and muscles)

Trigger Point Therapy:-

A trigger point is a hyperirritable spot within a muscle that often results in reduced range of movement and muscle weakness. It is a point at which the sensory receptors become over excited and local pain is perceived. 

A trigger point can develop from postural imbalance, overuse of muscle or compensatory movements that continue unchecked for periods of time. 

Trigger point technique deactivates it by applying direct pressure and temporarily starving the area of oxygen which leads to a reduction in spasm. This is also known as ischaemic pressure or myotherapy.

As tension in the muscle increases, the process can be assisted by the relaxation process caused by autogenic inihibition.

Effects Of Trigger Point Techniques:-

• Increased flexibility and contractibility of the affected muscle

• Improved range of movement 

• Reduced local pain 

• Reduced referred pain • Improved circulation 

• Increased local and general relaxation.

Positional Release Technique:-

Positional release is a generic term for a selection of indirect manual therapy techniques involving careful passive positioning of the client to reduce pain, tightness or trigger points and promote muscle relaxation and local circulation. 

These techniques include 

• Strain – counterstrain 

• Functional technique Unlike trigger point techniques which focus on the reduction of hyperirritable trigger points, positional release aims to reduce the hypersensitivity and hyperactivity of muscle spindles.

Muscle Energy Technique:-

These techniques are a form of assisted stretching.

A muscle energy technique's aim is to lengthen a muscle that is limited by neurological restrictions.

Soft Tissue Mobilisation Techniques:-

Transverse frictions:-

Transverse frictions are a variation of simple kneading frictions and are used to break down or restructure adhesions in muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint capsules.

Frictions are used to:-

  • Increase the mobility of soft tissues
  • Optimise the formation of scar tissue formed during soft tissue repair
  • Assists muscles by removing physical restrictions to their movement.

Effects of frictions:-

  • Physical realignment of collagen fibres
  • Removal of excess scar tissue
  • Removal of adhesions
  • Reduced congestion in a local area
  • Increased local circulation
  • Increased range of movement

Soft Tissue Release:-

Soft tissue release techniques incorporates mobilisation of joints in order to stretch or mobilise either an entire musle or specific parts of a muscle.

The prime aim of soft tissue release is to remove physical restrictions to increase ranges of movement and mobility.

Effects of soft tissue release are:-

  • Increased mobility of soft tissue (muscle fascia)
  • Promotion of optimal scar tissue formation in softtissue injuries
  • Breaking down fibrous adhesions in soft tissues
  • Positive influence on soft tissue repair
  • Improved range of movement
  • Promotion of muscular balance

Myofascial Release Techniques:-

Myofascia is a conective tissue and if your myofascia is tight its like your muscles are in a straight jacket. Releasing myofascia requires slow mindful movements whereby you are effectively ironing out the tissues.

Connective tissue massage differs from other techniques because it treats the body as a whole rather than site specific.

As fascia also contains nerves, blood and lympahtic vessels any improvement in its condition will inevitably lead to improvements into the circulatory or nervous system and possibly organ function.

Efflurage and petrisage:-

These are born from Swedish techniques. With efflurage the focus is on relaxation, warming, preparation and flushing of the area before using deeper techniques.

Petrissage is a deeper, kneading technique, which helps to break down adhesions.