Massage therapy has a world of benefits for bikers and runners. Athletic performance, while healthy, also puts stress on the body — particularly when you push yourself to achieve that next goal. Living takes its toll, and we must take care of our bodies or they will let us know about it. We need food, sleep, and exercise to maintain ourselves. Massage therapy, as well, plays an important part in helping the athlete continue to perform at a peak level.
Running and biking puts the muscles under stress. This is good — it’s how the muscles grow and develop — but it also has a down-side. The stress can create little injuries in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, that if not attended to, leads to a build-up of scar tissue. That scar tissue can form into web-like bundles we call adhesion. This is that gristly stuff you sometimes feel when you are palpating a tender area, and the hard knots that ache in your shoulder tops and other places. Adhesion limits the function of the muscle — decreasing performance and increasing the chance of new and greater injury.
Left unchecked it will cause imbalances in the body that start to spread problems from one part to the next — making you run or peddle harder with one leg than the other, for example. That in turn may cause your hips to start twisting, creating instability in the low back. The calves of runners can become extremely restricted — leading to problems like plantar-fasciitis or shin-splints. Adhesion often forms in the upper back of bikers, because they spend so much time hunched over their handle bars. From there, problems can spread to the neck and arms. Nerves can even became impinged, causing numbness and tingling in the hands.
Fortunately we’ve developed a solution over the years that we call massage therapy. The goal of sports massage is to remove these adhesions — eliminating the painful restrictions and returning the body to proper and balanced function. A good massage not only unties the knots in the muscles, but it also helps clean out the soft tissue, pushing away lactic acid and toxins and bringing in fresh blood flow, needed for muscle healing and recovery.
Athletes report that massage helps reduce the recovery phase their bodies go through, and enhances their build-up phase. That simply means that the amount of time you feel sore and wiped-out following a performance is lessened. And your muscles are able to adapt to new demands and grow stronger more effectively because they are free of restriction, and your body is in better balance.
The body does the best it can to deal with the stresses we it put under, but it can always use a helping hand. Therapeutic massage, especially when combined with chiropractic care, is a natural and healthy way to take care of yourself, and get the most out of your athletic performance.
Tim is a Massage Therapist for Elite Performance Chiropractic in McKinney, Tx. www.epcmckinney.com
Tim’s credentials include; LMT, Sports & Therapeutic Massage, ART Full Body Certified, Long Nerve Track Entrapment Certified, Lymphatic Drainage Therapy. CK SPORTS and Elite Chiropractic partner together in various events. Every Friday, Rich Miller, owner of Elite Performance offers his services at CK SPORTS from Noon to 1:30pm for local residents who would like a 15 minute analysis of any injury or ache they may have. Call and schedule your 15 minute session now at 214-383-0088.