This treatment uses deep manipulation of the soft tissue to correct problems and imbalances caused by strenuous physical activity. Sports massage is an effective way to release tension and restore balance in your musculoskeletal system.
If you are a serious athlete, incorporating regular massages into your training plan can support training and recovery, and may even prevent some minor injuries from occurring. However, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from this treatment; it can also help lengthen and strengthen muscles and joints in those who work out casually.
Who would benefit from a Sports massage?
Anyone who enjoys regular physical activity, or is currently recovering from a sporting injury. This type of massage will help improve flexibility and may reduce recovery time.
People who may choose to select this treatment:
Athletes in preparation for, or following a sporting events.
As part of rehabilitation following an injury.
Those with muscle cramps, bruises and aches.
Anyone with acute or chronic soft tissue injuries.
People who should not choose a Sports massage:
Those with general massage contraindications, including open wounds, broken bones, bursitis, periostitis, rheumatoid arthritis, myositis ossificans, skin infections, thrombosis or bleeding disorders.
Anyone looking for a gentle experience. Try a Relaxing massage instead.
Be sure to advise your therapist of any pre-existing medical conditions or areas to avoid before they begin your treatment.
Sports massage potential benefits
Can speed healing and reduce discomfort during the rehabilitation process.
Increases range of motion and flexibility.
Increases blood flow, which re-oxygenates soft tissue to reduce recovery time.
Helps improve muscle endurance and power.
During your Sports massage treatment
Your therapist may begin with a postural and gait analysis, and will discuss your medical history and any current injuries. This treatment takes place on a table, so you will need to undress and will be covered with a towel. Sports massage uses oil, cream or wax to work into deep pressure points, so the experience can be very intense at times.
Sports massage techniques
Your therapist will use a combination of trigger point techniques, cross-fibre friction and myofascial release, alongside joint mobilisations and stretches. Sports massages combine elements of Swedish massage and Deep Tissue massage to improve blood flow to your muscles and increase oxygen levels in the body.
After your Sports massage
Following your massage, your muscles may feel sore for a day or two, though it may also help to alleviate existing soreness. Take a warm bath, ensure you get adequate rest and drink plenty of water. Never put strain on muscles that are already feeling tender.
What is the difference between Sports therapy and a Sports massage?
A Sports Therapist is often qualified to administer massage, but may also use ultrasound or cryotherapy, and can provide guidance on visualisation and motivation techniques. For those wanting a hands-on treatment, a Sports massage may be more than enough to release and strengthen muscles, assist in the removal of metabolic waste and promote relaxation before a big event.
Does Sports massage hurt?
A Sports massage is likely to be more intense than a Deep Tissue massage, but should never be painful. Let your therapist know if you are experiencing discomfort and they can ease off the pressure or avoid certain areas if needed.
What type of therapists specialise in Sports massage?
Therapists that have a high level of knowledge about anatomy and physiology, and may come from a physiotherapy or osteopathy background. They will typically have a good knowledge of sporting injury, rehabilitation methods and training practices.
This page describes the most common techniques for a specific type of massage. Your therapist will tailor your treatment to your individual needs based on their expert knowledge and experience.