Assignment: Sports Massage

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Assignment: Sports Massage

Assignment: Sports Massage


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The book I chose, Sports & exercise massage: Comprehensive care in athletics, fitness & rehabilitation (2nd ed.) was an interesting read not only because I’m a nurse, but because I exercise frequently. It begins to explain a bit about the three effects on the body systems which are structural, physiologic, and psychological. The way a massage is performed determines the effect. The different types of sport massage are pre-event massage, also known as warm up, inter-competition massage which focuses on the muscles being used, and post event recovery massage which allows the muscles to regain blood flow for faster recovery. When injury occurs, remedial or rehabilitation massage can be performed to speed up the healing process. Pressure is important to consider during sports massage due to the possibility of injury. Usually one massage therapist follows the athlete around because they know the athlete’s body well.

The chemistry aspect of massage is crucial to the psychological portion of recovery. The book goes into detail about the excitatory drugs like serotonin which gives that wonderful feel good feeling. Oxytocin and Cortisol are also involved with massage, giving a sense of attachment or arousal. The all too common delayed onset muscle soreness that anyone that has gone to the gym has experienced is explained, and how massage can help. The culprit that causes pain after a workout is creatine kinase, a byproduct of damaged muscle. Massage helps the creatine kinase release from the muscles where it gets absorbed into the bloodstream and excreted from the kidneys. Otherwise, simply waiting it out could mean days of pain. One at home remedy to help progress the release of creatine kinase from the muscles is foam rolling which involves rolling the affected area against a stiff foam roll repeatedly. My attempt at foam rolling was more painful than I thought, but pain is a common complaint. I then decided to try massage, by scheduling a sports massage with a known massage therapist in my area. I was very fatigued from the gym, and found it difficult to walk without stabbing pains in my thighs. The massage was extremely painful, but I now see the reason for it, as I immediately was able to walk more freely and the soreness was reduced by tenfold the next morning. I will continue to schedule bimonthly massages to help recover from my workouts, and continue foam rolling in between to help stimulate blood flow to the muscles.


Fritz, S. (2012). Sports & exercise massage: Comprehensive care in athletics, fitness & rehabilitation (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

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