I have worked on a ton of athletes and many of them were busy competing, enjoying their sport, or preparing for an upcoming marathon. If you are an athlete or involved in a sport or regular activity and you feel ongoing discomfort, pain, tingling, shooting pains, or weakness, you need to listen to your body and make sure you get worked on by a competent massage therapist right away. Why? Because you may just be standing at the doorway of a significant injury and that could result in you having to stop your activity and recover for days, weeks or even months!
You see, many injuries result from continued activity over a period of time. These injuries result from repetitive stress placed on muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. This can result in soreness, tingling, shooting pains, muscle cramps, and even outright muscle dysfunction. The thing that most clients fail to realize is that most injuries occur in stages unless it is an acute injury (an injury that happens all of a sudden like when you sprain your ankle). That constant soreness in your deltoid could last for weeks but then at some point you may not be able to lift your arm at all! If you had gotten massage therapy when you first started feeling that soreness then you would have prevented this from occurring.
I have actually had this happen to me because I have weight-trained for years. Well a couple years ago, I got over-jealous in several of my workouts and decided to really use much heavier weights for my shoulder exercises. I felt the strain and my right deltoid really did not seem to enjoy the extra weight. Later in the day it was excessively sore but I ignored it and decided it would be ok in a couple of days. Well it wasn’t. By the third day, I could not raise my arm past my waist. Most of the strength was gone. That was a serious wake-up call for me so I started getting massage of my shoulders and deltoids immediately after that but at that point, since I let it go that long, it actually took me several weeks to get the arm back where it functioned normally. Of course, now I get regular preventative massage to my deltoid muscles because I know I am susceptible to injury there. I have found that most clients who work out and most athletes have some part of their body that seems to be more susceptible to injury and stress so when you know this, it is best to prevent problems.
I recall now working at the spa and having this young lady come in who was preparing for a marathon for the first time. She was training with a friend of hers who had done marathons before. My client was in the armed forces so she was used to exercise but not training for a marathon so as I worked on her I kept finding areas on her body that were in the pre-injury phase. Those areas were excessively sore and tender and I made it clear to her that if she did not start getting regular massage that she may not make it to the marathon. That is when she admitted to me that her friend who she is training with actually did not make it to compete in the marathon last year because a week before the marathon she sustained an injury and could not run for weeks. My client was visiting Cleveland so I told her to find a competent massage therapist when she got home and get massage at least once a week during her training to prevent further problems.
If you are going to work out heavy, do a sport, or do any type of excessive exercise you will need to make time for sports massage. I have heard so many clients complain that they do not have time to get regular massage and my response is always the same: “Well, do you have time to nurse an injury and not be able to do your sport?” You have a choice so make the smart choice and support strenuous activity and sports with effective therapeutic or sports massage.