It’s March again, which means the University level basketball teams are getting ready to take the court and play for the NCAA Championship. This month is filled with packed bars, risky brackets, and many highly ranked teams competing for the ultimate title. However, many times your favorite team or your bracket doesn’t do as well as you had hoped. Maybe your team had a bad day, maybe the underdog came out on top, or maybe some of your favorite players were benched due to an injury; or even worse, and injury that could've been prevented.
Here at Elements Massage, we have discussed the benefits of massage therapy and sports countless times. However, with March Madness upon us, we figured there was no better time to touch on the subject again. Also, this time we are going to really focus on how beneficial massage therapy can be for basketball players of all ages and levels.
As we have mentioned before, massage therapy for the active population is extremely beneficial. It helps relieve muscle tension and soreness, letting you recover faster and train harder; therefore, helping you be the best athlete you can be. Not only can massage therapy help speed up injury recovery process, but it also can aid in preventing injuries overall.
« A sports massage is the best tool to prevent injury and muscle discontent. A massage therapist helps the player prevent injuries by massaging the overused joints and muscle groups. During a [basketball] game, a player plays both offense and defense. With massage therapy, the player’s stamina, mobility, and alertness will be improved. » This is one of the few reasons that the National Basketball Association has a massage requirement for their players. By regularly using massage therapy to target muscles that are frequently used and subsequent to injury, basketball players could improve and prolong their career.
Massage therapy for basketball players has been proven to prevent some of the most common injuries, as well as help rehabilitate someone faster. Some of these injuries include ankle sprains, knee injuries dealing with ligaments and tendons, hamstring pulls, achilles tendinitis, and lower back strains. All of these occur when a muscle, tendon, or ligament overextends, moves in the wrong direction, or does something it isn’t use to. However, by continuously massaging the affected areas, they can be more flexible and durable for sudden starts, stops, turns, twists, and other movements.
Sports Massages can be both injury prevention focused and recovery focused. If a player didn’t have a massage regimen in place before and became injured, they would undergo recovery focused. Massage therapy post-injury will increase blood flow, therefore reducing inflammation in the affected area; and it will address and heal micro-tears in muscles. However, if you are interested in starting a massage regimen before you become injured, it is a very effective idea. Massage therapists can focus on muscle groups that are constantly used throughout practices and games to make sure they are loose and mobile for every situation. It will also help with muscle soreness and discontent after one plays.
A massage regimen for competitive athletes is highly beneficial, and sometimes even crucial. If you are a basketball player or know someone who is a basketball player, tell them about the benefits of massage therapy. They could become a better player than they already are and succeed to a higher level. Also, if you know someone playing at a university or professional level, massage is the perfect way to destress and get a clear mind going into high-risk or rivalry games. Make sure you, or the athlete you know, is getting the care their body needs!