On the Mend with Massage
Even if you concentrate on conditioning,
sometimes injuries do happen. When they do, spine surgeon Johnny C.
Benjamin recommends applying ice to any strain or sprain during the
first 72 hours, then switch to a moist heating pad. Nonprescription
medicine can help control pain. And a massage will promote
"Massage is great in helping to bring blood and nutrients to the
affected area to repair the soft tissue," he says. "Ideally, you
should get a massage as soon as you can tolerate it. Massage also
can help break up scar tissue and keep the muscles supple so less
scar tissue develops in the first place."
Even when there's no injury, massage also helps athletes of all
levels improve their flexibility and muscle suppleness. The
kneading action of a massage disperses the accumulation of lactic
acid, which causes fatigued, sore muscles.
When you book your massage, request a therapist experienced in
sports massage, and ask that special attention be paid to any
injured areas, says Maureen Moon, former president of the American
Massage Therapy Association.
A Massage Therapist can also stretch the muscles in trouble areas,
promoting increased flexibility when the body is warm and more