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Post-event massage is done to decrease muscle soreness and/or cramping and to facilitate a faster return to training after an athletic event.
Techniques used include:
Trigger Point and Counterstrain
Reciprocal Inhibition (for muscle cramps)
Light cross fiber work
We do not do any deep specific work or intensive stretches in post-event work, as that may aggravate any muscle or tendon strains or inflammation.
When an athlete crosses the finish line, it is very important that they cool down first by walking for 15 or 20 minutes before getting on the massage table. This will help prevent muscle cramps. In many post-event situations, there is not time to do a thorough client history, but it is important to ask questions such as: How are you feeling? Are you feeling warm or cold? Have you cooled down? Do you have any problem areas? It is necessary to go slow and ask for feedback, and to have medical help available for referral if necessary.
Some practical considerations: Bring waterless hand cleaner if there are no facilities for hand washing. Put plywood squares under your table feet so your table doesn’t sink into the ground. You may only be working on each client for 5 or 10 minutes. It depends on how many therapists are working at the event, the condition of your client, and how many athletes are waiting to get massaged. Bring plenty of linens, and bring blankets if hypothermia may be a problem. Some therapists use butcher-block paper on the table and change it with every client. This saves on linens. Have ice packs and electrolyte drinks available. Cramping is not uncommon, so it is important to be very familiar with reciprocal inhibition techniques to relieve cramping. You won’t have time to refer to your anatomy books when someone is cramping. Watch for muscle twitching as it may precede cramping. At races check the feet thoroughly for blisters before working on them.
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