Aruba Sports Medicine, located in Oranjestad, Aruba, offers a variety of services aimed at aiding athletes in achieving optimum performance, while promoting general wellbeing and swift recovery from injuries1. Since 2012, the organization has been providing treatment to high-performance athletes from Aruba, particularly those affiliated with the Comite Olimpico Arubano (COA), who participate in high-level competitions representing Aruba. Starting from 2019, they expanded their services to cater to all athletes and general patients.
Among the standout services provided by Aruba Sports Medicine is sports massage. It’s a specialized massage technique utilized to aid in recovery from training loads, prevention of injuries, and treatment of muscle contractures. They also provide activation massages before competitions and lymphatic drainage massages to aid in the recovery of circulatory injuries1.
A range of techniques and movements are deployed during sports massages, such as Swedish massage, petrissage (kneading), effleurage, stroking, compression, friction, tapping, vibration, and gliding. These techniques are meticulously applied to help athletes attain peak performance, reduce injury, and expedite recovery.
Sports massages can offer multiple benefits, some of which are psychological and others physiological. These include increased joint range and motion (ROM), enhanced flexibility, better sleep, increased well-being, reduced muscle tension, and relaxation of nerves. While research support is lacking for some claims, sports massages are also believed to increase blood flow, speed up elimination of exercise waste products like lactic acid, reduce the risk of injury, and minimize recovery time between work and home.
Aruba Sports Medicine is open from Monday to Friday, between 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, ready to cater to athletes and other individuals seeking their expertise.
Deep tissue massage is another service offered by Aruba Sports Medicine. This technique targets the inner layers of your muscles, tendons, and fascia (dense connective tissues). It’s primarily used to treat musculoskeletal issues, such as strains and sports injuries. The technique involves applying sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of your muscles and connective tissues, helping to break up scar tissue that forms following an injury and reduce tension in muscle and tissue.
However, while deep tissue massage can provide many benefits, there are several health conditions where deep tissue massage might not be recommended:
- History of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Deep tissue massage might dislodge a blood clot, which could then travel through the bloodstream and potentially block blood vessels in the brain, heart, or lungs. This could result in a stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism, which are serious medical conditions.
- Bleeding disorders or individuals on blood thinners: People with bleeding disorders have a higher risk of bruising and bleeding. Those taking blood thinners are also more likely to bruise or bleed, making deep tissue massage potentially dangerous.
- Cancer or undergoing cancer treatment: Cancer can spread through the lymphatic system, and massage could potentially increase the risk of cancer spread, especially in individuals with metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread from the primary site to other parts of the body). Additionally, people undergoing cancer treatments might have a lower platelet count, which increases the risk of bruising and bleeding.
- Osteoporosis: In individuals with osteoporosis, bones become weak and brittle. Deep tissue massage could potentially cause a fracture in these individuals.
- Open wounds or skin infections: Massage should not be performed over open wounds, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures. Moreover, a massage could potentially spread skin infections.
- Lymphedema: Lymphedema is a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system. In such cases, deep tissue massage could potentially exacerbate the condition.
In these instances, it’s advisable to consult a doctor before undergoing deep tissue massage therapy.
Sports massage, on the other hand, is more specialized. It’s typically used by athletes, but can be beneficial for anyone experiencing repetitive stress or injury in a specific area. The techniques in sports massage are designed to improve athletic performance, prevent injury, and aid recovery.
Benefits of Sports Massage:
- Enhances athletic performance: Sports massage is often used to prepare athletes for peak performance. It does this by reducing fatigue, relieving swelling, reducing muscle tension, promoting flexibility, and preventing injuries.
- Promotes flexibility: By focusing on specific muscle groups, a sports massage can help increase your range of motion and flexibility.
- Assists with injury recovery: Sports massage can aid in the healing process of current injuries and can also help prevent future ones.
- Improves endurance: Regular sports massage can increase the power and performance of your muscles, leading to improved endurance over time.
Massage therapy, including sports and deep tissue massage, can be beneficial for individuals across all age groups. Studies have shown that even infants and young children can benefit from gentle forms of massage, which can aid in bonding, relaxation, and overall well-being. For teenagers, especially those involved in sports, massage therapy can help with muscle soreness, specific pain issues, and stress relief.
While there is no strict age limit to receive a massage, many spas or massage therapy practices may require the consent of a parent or guardian for clients under the age of 18. It is advised that you check with the specific establishment for their policies regarding age restrictions before making an appointment.
It is always important to ensure that any massage is performed by a licensed professional and that it is tailored to the individual’s specific needs and health conditions. At Aruba Sports Medicine, you can rest assured knowing that our staff are highly trained and dedicated to providing the best care possible.