The role of massage in the management of athletes: A review
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background – Over the past decade sports massage has massively grown in its use within everyday sport. Athletes are now opting to include it in their training regimes as a means to enhance their performance and recovery. Massage is regularly applied in sport regardless of there being a significant lack of evidence to support its application pre and post training or competition. Aim - The purpose of this literature review was to examine current studies and findings in order to determine the psychological and physiological influence of massage on an athlete’s performance, recovery rate, psychological mood state and injury. Method – Articles were chosen from four chosen databases; SportDiscus, SUMMON, Medline and the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. In order to ensure that only relevant material was consulted, specific key-words or phrases were used to only allow for appropriate journal articles and references to be included. Findings – Evidence has shown positive support for the use of massage in sport, be it pre or post event. It was found that an athlete’s performance, recovery, injury and psychological state were all shown to be influenced positively after massage application. Conclusion - The findings of this study suggested that the influence of massage had upon the athletes psychologically was much greater than its impact physiologically. The findings’ also allowed for the discussion that additional research should consider focusing more upon the physiological influence of massage application. This would be helpful for future therapists to justify why they are implementing massage within their treatment strategies.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT CONDITIONING, REHABILITATION AND MASSAGE
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