Sports Massage For Muscle Recovery After Exercise

Sports Massage & DOMS

Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is exercise-related muscle pain. DOMS develops after excessive and unaccustomed exercise. It often occurs after eccentric exercise, where the muscles are contracting whilst lengthening, for example, the downward phase of a bicep curl.

What Causes DOMS After Exercise?

DOMS is caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibres. The tears result in an inflammatory response with intramuscular fluid and electrolyte shifts.  Biochemical markers (such as creatine kinase and lactic dehydrogenase) are found in the blood of DOMS sufferers, which is consistent with muscle fibre disruption.

How can you prevent DOMS & Improve Muscle Recovery?

To improve muscle recovery and reduce DOMS you can try the following:

  • Gradually build up the amount of exercise you do by 10% each week.
  • Don’t overdo the amount of eccentric exercise in your workouts.
  • Do a comprehensive cool down after working out.
  • And most fun of all: get a sports massage from a qualified therapist!

In this meta-analysis of post recovery techniques to reduce muscle soreness, it was found that massage seemed to be the most effective way to reduce DOMS.

When should I have a Sports Massage?

Sports massage encompasses deep tissue and other specialised techniques.  Myofascial release (releasing the connective tissue) is one of the ways sports massage alleviates acute and chronic muscular symptoms.  It can be tailored to any phase of training: recovery conditioning, pre-event or post-event.  Sports massage is not just great for athletes, people who enjoy deep tissue and vigorous styles of massage will also benefit from these treatments.