Massages are very popular among athletes, soccer coaches, and physical trainers to avoid overuse injuries.
There are many benefits of massages focused on soccer players such as for psychological preparation, game performance, recovery and prevention of soccer injuries after training or competitions and for the treatment of various pathologies associated with sports.
Sports massage is defined as a set of specialized techniques for athletes or active individuals with the purpose of helping the recovery, prevention, and treatment of sports injuries. According to the Pacific University School of Physical Therapy in Hillsboro, Oregon, as “A type of vigorous massage used to prepare athletes for the best performance that uses different techniques including joint mobilization, stretching, post-isometric relaxation, transverse massage, and point massage. Pressure".
There are basically 3 types of massages you can have if you play soccer.
Effleurage: is a Swedish technique or massage maneuver. It is a French term, derived from "effleurer", which means to touch or touch gently.
Through two mechanisms, the first and most evident by helping in the evacuation of substances that perpetuate the inflammatory process, releasing the affected area of toxic substances, improving circulation and thereby favoring the arrival of metabolites and substances that collaborate in recovery. A second mechanism is based on the theory of "GATE CONTROL", a mechanism that works by blocking the entry of painful impulses into the spinal cord.
Petrissage: Swedish technique that, as its name indicates, comes from Pétrir, which means to knead. It is based on this very powerful and vigorous movement that allows you to work deeply on the muscles.
Very valuable in helping to break down and eliminate fat deposits around muscles. It also helps prevent muscle stiffness after exercise and can relieve muscle spasm.
DTFM (Deep Transverse Friction Massage): Also known as “Cross-fiber friction” It is carried out by making deep movements transversely to the direction of the fibers of the tissue in question.
This technique is mostly used to treat tendonitis and tendinosis cases, as well as to increase muscle elasticity with a focus on the muscle-tendon transition zones. Another objective is the rupture of adhesions and avoiding the formation of fibrosis between the different deep planes and the muscle fascia, thus improving mobility, reducing spasticity.
In soccer, massages have been used for many years to meet different objectives and are generally performed in two moments in an athlete: Before and after the soccer match.
This type of massage has been used for mechanical preparation prior to the physical effort that exercise requires. However, in studies with a considerable level of evidence, its benefits have not been shown to be superior to static and dynamic stretching techniques, warm-up drills, game simulations, and mental imagery. Imagery ”(a very innovative technique for physical and mental preparation that we will take as the subject for another of our publications).
This type of massage has also been used to decrease anxiety before a soccer match, in this regard, the decrease in blood pressure levels has been verified in a session of 30 to 90 continuous minutes of Swedish massage showing the best values of blood pressure reduction. Likewise, the reduction of cortisol (stress hormone) levels has been demonstrated in groups of athletes who undergo a Swedish massage session for 30 minutes twice a week for five weeks.
Massage after physical activity improves blood circulation, which directly helps decrease local edema. It has also been shown that a 30-minute massage session two hours after physical activity reduces the effect of DOMS and some substances that influence the presence of muscle pain, such as creatine kinase.
Having the proper equipment, like shin guards, soccer cleats; training with the best coaches and players and downloading OnTheBall, the best soccer training app, contributes to lower the risk of common soccer injuries while outperforming other players in the field.