There are many physiological effects of massage to help prevent injury. The most common physiological effects that occur include:
Massage facilitates circulation because the pressure created by the massage technique actually moves blood through the congested areas. The release of this same pressure causes new blood to flow in.
The removal of waste products can help prevent injury. Metabolic wastes such as lactic acid can build-up within muscles during or after activity. Metabolic wastes fatigue muscles and increase pain. Muscle fatigue increases muscle weakness, making injury more likely. During a massage, the lymphatic system is stimulated. The lymphatic system is responsible for the removal of metabolic wastes within the body. Which contribute towards preventing injury.
Increased oxygenation is a physiological effect that can help prevent injury. Increased oxygenation involves increasing blood flow to muscles and other cells within the body to supply them with an increase in oxygen. A lack of oxygen causes muscle fatigue and weakness making injuries. An improvement in blood flow occurs during a massage. An improved blood flow increases the amount of oxygen available for muscles to use during an event. Increasing oxygen energizes muscles therefore preventing injury.
Injury can be prevented when tissue elasticity increases. Tissue elasticity is the ability of elastin fibers within muscles to allow a muscle to stretch to its full length. When tissue elasticity is poor, muscles become restrictive making muscle pulls and strains. Friction is created during a massage between the skin and fingers. Friction encourages an increase in blood flow to the treatment area. An increase in temperature of muscle tissues reduces tissue inelasticity. Increasing range of movement prevents injuries.