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Sports massage techniques can help break down scar tissue that has resulted from injury and trauma. Scar tissue impacts muscles, tendons, and ligaments by causing them to become inflexible and painful, increasing the possibility of repeat injury. Elasticity of tissues is restored through sports massage techniques. As athletes train, tissues become inelastic, losing their ability to stretch comfortably. A massage stretches the tissues and returns them to a youthful elasticity.
Pain reduction is an important part of massage therapy for athletes. As tissues become tense, inflexible, and inelastic, the muscles react by cramping. Massages that target these problems relieve pain and stretch out the muscles so the athlete can continue training. Furthermore, massages are very relaxing. As the massage creates heat through friction, the body naturally reacts by reflex relaxation, a type of automated response to certain motions. This leads to less anxiety for the athlete, and can also create a feeling of invigoration, which renews the athlete's mind, body, and spirit.