Massage Therapy & Mixed Martial Artists
It seems like every week we see a fighter pulling from an event due to injury. With all of the injuries plaguing mixed martial artists today, it is of the utmost importance that they are properly educated in both injury prevention and maintenance practices. Massage therapy is one of the most effective ways to stay on top of pre-existing injuries leading into a fight camp. Your massage therapist should be brought into the fold as a member of your team to ensure that you are receiving quality care. When I work with athletes I like to work closely with their coaches, athletic trainers and any additional medical staff that they have assisting them with their injuries. Not all fighters have access to world class trainers and medical staff. Having an additional member on your health care team can be vital in spotting an injury before it becomes worse.
When choosing a massage therapist it is important to find someone that is well versed in medical and sports massage. A therapist with these types of backgrounds should be able to tell the severity of an injury by walking you through some quick assessments. While massage therapists legally cannot diagnose an injury, they will refer you to a medical doctor, if the injury is bad enough for a full diagnosis. Think of a massage therapist as your bridge between you and your doctor. It is not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe massage to athletes in order to get them back in tip top shape for their next event.
As any athlete can tell you it is imperative that you are working with someone who understands the rigors of your sport. Mixed martial arts is no different. When I made the choice to become a Licensed Certified Massage Therapist (LCMT), I made it knowing that my focus would be primarily on treating MMA athletes. Having had a background in many styles of combat sports, I am able to easily understand how an injury has taken place and what muscles have been affected. These are qualities that you should look at when choosing a massage therapist. Do they understand your individual needs? Will they prescribe a treatment plan that suits your busy training schedule?
One other quality that I would suggest looking for in a massage therapist is seeing if they are also certified as a personal trainer. Many massage therapists that are actively involved in athletics and injury recovery tend to hold certifications as trainers. This allows them to be able to treat an injury and create a workout plan to assist in strengthening the injured area of the body.
In future articles we will be discussing the differences in types of massage and how they keep you healthy. We will also discuss other types of sports therapy that will keep you training and on your way to becoming a champion.