Should You Get a Massage After a Sports Injury or Sprain?

Whether you are a dedicated athlete, a recreational sports fan, or generally live an active lifestyle, chances are you’ll have injured an ankle, hip, or arm along the way. Sports injuries are fairly common and usually temporary, but it is important to give them the proper care they need and time to heal so they can get back in the game. 

When to Consider Post-Injury Massage Services

Sports injuries and sprains can cause long-term mobility issues if left unaddressed, which is why timely attention is crucial. If you’ve been injured on the court, in the gym, or out in the field, our seasoned practitioners at Urban Massage and Wellness are here to help. First, let’s talk about how massage therapy can help you through the healing process. 

How Massage Therapy Can Speed up the Healing Process

Everybody is different, and no two sports injuries are alike. Before considering massage therapy for your injury or sprain, we recommend speaking with your doctor to determine the severity of your issue and whether or not more invasive measures are necessary to treat the injured area. For example, while massage therapy can be very beneficial for soft tissue sports injuries like tennis elbow, shin splints, and muscle strain, it is not suited for people with fragile, injured, or broken bones. 

A registered massage therapist will make sure to ask every client about the reason(s) for their visit to determine whether or not massage therapy is a safe way to address the desired treatment area. Before we dive into the many types of massage therapy techniques that can soothe appropriate strains, sprains, and other sports injuries, let’s talk about what constitutes a sports injury or sprain.  

What Are Sports Injuries and Sprains?  

As you can imagine, sports injuries typically happen during exercise or sports. You might’ve twisted your ankle the wrong way while kicking a ball, or maybe you strained your knee sliding into home plate, or perhaps you’re experiencing discomfort in your forearm while swinging your racquet. These types of pain and discomfort are all injuries that can happen to professional athletes and recreational sports enthusiasts alike. 

One common way that athletes hurt themselves is by not giving their bodies a chance to warm up before they launch into their workout or activity. Individuals who are not regularly active or who play contact sports are also at an increased risk of sports injury. 

Some Common Sports Injuries Include: 

  • Sprained ankles occur when the ligaments are overstretched or torn due to the ankle being twisted or turned out of place. 
  • Strained hamstrings, which are caused by overstretching or tearing the tendons that connect the muscles to the bones.   
  • Knee injuries, which can affect the joint, muscles, and tissues.
  • Tennis elbow, which stems from repetitive arm motions that strain the tendons over time. 

Sprains and strains can affect various parts of the body; it’s important to understand the difference between these two types of injuries. A sprain describes overstretched or torn ligaments (tissue bands), while a strain refers to overstretched or torn tendons (fibrous tissue chords). 

Best Massage Services for Sports Injuries and Sprains 

Certain massage techniques can be used to alleviate pain and soreness caused by athletic injuries, which might involve deeper pressure than a traditional relaxation massage. For example, if you are hoping to visit our St. Albert massage clinic for a sprained ankle, your massage therapist might apply a cross–friction massage technique to the area, which can aid in preventing scar tissue from developing on the affected ligaments or tendons. 

At Urban Massage & Wellness, there are a few massage services that can help with sport-specific concerns, sprains, and general body strains. 

Sports Massage for Sports Injuries

A sports massage is specifically designed to target muscle groups that are engaged and often overworked due to frequent physical activity and repetitive motions. The techniques used in sports massage can improve flexibility, range of motion, and faster injury healing. 

Hot Stone Massage for Sport Injuries

A hot stone massage has the potential to help alleviate aches and pains caused by sport-related injuries, sprains, and strains. The heat and weight of the stones can work in harmony to relieve tension and reduce inflammation in the muscles and joints. 

Prenatal Massage for Sports Injuries

A prenatal massage can help relieve tension caused by various muscle strains that pregnant clients might experience while adjusting to carrying a growing baby. For example, if you strain your back while pregnant, your massage therapist will use special positioning techniques and props to massage the area safely and comfortably. 

Other Ways to Care for Injured Areas 

There are a few ways you can take care of sport-induced injuries, sprains, and strains at home to speed up the recovery process. A good rule of thumb is to start with lots of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Let your body rest, apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling, provide compression, and keep it elevated.

Be sure to ask your massage therapist about stretches you can do at home following your visit, and consult with a physiotherapist if the healing process requires rehabilitation and targeted exercise. There are plenty of at-home stretches and exercises a professional can show you to help bring your injured area back to its usual function, but be sure to take recovery at your own pace.

Above all else, go easy on yourself and give your body the time it needs to recoup after experiencing a trauma so you don’t end up hurting yourself more. Patience is protection! 

Book a Therapeutic Massage in St. Albert, AB

Do you have a sports injury? Book a visit online with one of our St. Albert practitioners. Our dedicated team is here to help keep your muscles and joints in peak-performance shape so you can focus on getting back in the field, on the court, or wherever you like to play. You can have peace of mind knowing you are in good hands at Urban Massage & Wellness

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