Using Massage for Surfing Injuries

surfing, beach, surfer, water, waves

Surfing on the North Shore – near Sunset Beach by Daniel Ramirez via flickr. Licensed under creative commons.

Few activities give such a feeling of freedom and adventure as surfing, but like most sports, injuries of various kinds can result.

While most dedicated surfers will take precautions to prevent becoming hurt, accidents with your board and the uncertainty of the ocean make absolute safety impossible.

Surfing is considered to be a relatively safe sport, but injuries can still occur nearly 4% of the time.

The Most Common Injuries from Surfing

Lacerations (cuts) are the most common surfing injury. Making contact with your board, the ocean floor, or a reef can all cause not only lacerations but bruises.

While some of these cuts can be very severe and require medical care, these are visible injuries and perhaps the easiest to treat, the ‘invisible’ ones, those hidden beneath the skin, can often cause long lasting and serious problems.

  • Sprains are also very common injuries involving surfing. A sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments, often around the ankle, knee, or shoulder joints. Ligaments help to hold the joint in alignment (connecting one bone to another), and surfing can result in stretched or torn ligaments. These are painful injuries and will often show swelling or discoloration.
  • Strains are often confused with sprains, but strains are injuries to muscles or tendons. Torn muscle tissue causes pain, swelling and weakness in the muscle. As tendons attach the muscles to the bone, it’s easy to see how strains can involve both of these body parts. Back, neck, shoulder and elbow strains often afflict surfers, resulting in time away from the board.
  • Shoulder impingement usually results simply because you have used the shoulder for too long a period of time. Sharp pain while the shoulder is in use which eases off as soon as the shoulder is relaxed is a good indication of impingement.
  • There are a number of ways in which your knees can be injured while you’re surfing, and with the rise of aerial surfing, knee injuries are becoming more and more frequent. Very often, tight or knotted muscles in the thigh can lead to a misalignment of the knee joint, leading to pain and a loss of flexibility.

Massage Therapy

If you’ve been injured while surfing, massage therapy is one of the best ways to get back to the waves as quickly as possible. A therapeutic massage is especially helpful when you’re dealing with strains or sprains. Massage warms the problem area, increasing circulation to bring more blood to the spot. This helps not only in bringing more of your body’s healing elements to the injury, but also by draining away excess fluid, relieving swelling and discomfort.

Massage can work out knots and trigger points, helping to relieve pain. Deep tissue massage is one of the best ways to provide help to tight and painful muscles, and helps to increase your overall flexibility. This form of massage also increases your range of motion as well as increasing the suppleness of the ligaments and tendons.

For those who are interested in increasing their surfing performance by 20%, regular massage has been shown to be an effective way to do so. Not only does massage help to tone and relax muscles, but it also helps to increase your ability to concentrate and elevate your energy levels. Being more alert and able to focus on surfing can translate into fewer accidents and less days waiting to recover from injuries.

Since a large portion of Adelaide lives close to the beach there is no excuse not to get a regular massage. In the chance that time is limited getting a home visit will help that situation. So before any aches start to appear why not book in with your regular massage therapist and get a tune up.