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Benefits of Therapeutic Massage for Runners

By August 28, 2018Massage Therapy

If you are a runner and are planning on participating in any endurance events, whether recreationally or competitively, you might want to consider the benefits of a therapeutic massage for overall health and performance.

Therapeutic massage is often different than a relaxation massage.  It targets specific areas and may involve differing pressures to relieve discomfort experienced in the soft tissues.  As a result, some patients leave their appointment a little bit achy.  Any discomfort should be short-lived, and you shouldn’t feel increased soreness after the appointment.  Reported benefits are often increased flexibility and reduced pain.

When is the best time for therapeutic massage?

It’s best to wait a few days after your event to schedule your massage.  Waiting a few days helps to let potential inflammation die down and allows your body to heal itself a bit before diving into your massage therapy.  This way your therapist can focus on sensitive areas before they become a larger problem.

Once you’ve had a few days to recover, you and your RMT will have a greater sense of where the treatment needs to focus, and together you can develop a treatment plan specific for your needs.  Therapeutic massage should decrease any pain sensitivity and feelings of stiffness in the soft tissues.  If you have never had a massage before, avoid any strenuous activities or heavy physical training as everyone responds differently to this intervention.

What can I expect to gain long term?

Runners are notorious for pushing their bodies to the limit.  Between intense training and grueling performances, we punish our bodies day after day, still expecting to produce our very best results.  As such, it’s important to get professional therapy to keep our soft tissues working as they should and to minimize any potential adverse events.  Furthermore, athletes can expect to benefit from improved flexibility and function as therapeutic massage combined with active movement and proper homecare is excellent at increasing range of motion and maintaining optimal physical function.

Injuries may also be reduced with professional massage.  Runners can have any problem areas assessed and treated instead of favouring them during training or performance, which may lead to injury.

Improved Sleep

Everyone knows that quality sleep is an important part of any active lifestyle.  Sleep can be elusive, however, for athletes who are recovering from a major event or who have been training intensely.  Aches and pains can often keep runners awake at night, and cause them to miss out on the rest they need to recover and continue to perform at their best.  Therapeutic massage can relieve sore muscles, ease tension and promote relaxation – all of which contribute to the good night’s sleep all runners require!

Stress Relief

All forms of massage help with the management of stress and anxiety.  Athletes who are worried about performance or who are overwhelmed with balancing their daily life as well as their sport can benefit from the effects of massage.  Focusing on one’s own recovery and placing value in self-care go a long way to helping patients – both physically and mentally!

Improved Function

If you’re an athlete getting ready for marathon season, training for track or starting your cross-country routine, consider giving therapeutic massage a try.  We are sure you will find the benefits will help you see improved performance and better overall health.

For maximum benefit, try combining some of our other therapy services as well for optimum results.  Massage and Physiotherapy, for example, are a great combo for improving ability and physical well-being.Give us a call today for a consultation to see how our expert team can help you cross the finish line!