We often get athletes and gym enthusiasts asking us to describe Sports Massage and how it varies from other massage techniques including Deep Tissue Massage. Here we explain what makes sports massage unique and why it can be of benefit to everybody. If you’re still not sure, give us a ring and we’ll happily talk with you about the best type of treatment for you.
Sports Massage is a treatment that has been developed for those involved in sporting activity to aid recovery from injury, to prevent injuries from occurring initially and to increase performance. The use of regular Sports Massage has developed massively within amateur sport in the past decade after being used in professional sport for many decades helping full time athletes through their tough training regimes.
Some techniques involved in a Sports Massage a similar to those of other massages such as the use of effleurage, a long deep stroke over an area used to warm the muscles and to remove unwanted toxins. The use of petrissage and friction techniques are also similar in different types of massage, where the muscles are mobilised and deeper pressure is applied to break down tension. Those receiving a sports massage treatment will also benefit from myofascial release and neuromuscular techniques to identify deep pain stored in the muscles and radiating pain from that area can be reduced. Trigger points, or knots, may also be found which can disperse after a thorough sports massage treatment.
Although Sports Massage uses similar techniques it differs from other types of massage as it uses these techniques are applied very deep inside the muscles thus creating less pressure on the joints and reducing pain in the particular area.
In a Sports Massage the therapist will not just treat the muscles but all the other soft tissues as well such as the ligaments and tendons at joints and the fascia connecting the muscles as a lot of tension is often stored in these areas. Stretching techniques are also involved with a Sports Massage that are not involved in other massage treatments such as Muscle Energy techniques and Soft Tissue Release. These techniques are applied to lengthen short, tense muscles used in a variety of ways depending on the issue, to decrease pain, ease joint pressure and reduce injuries.
Why the use of these techniques in a Sports Massage is aimed at sportspeople primarily is because to participate in competition well, the muscles need to be relaxed, soft, full of blood and nutrients and fully stretched to produce maximum performance. If an athlete were to compete with cold, short muscles that haven’t been stretched and softened, they would be more likely to gain an injury, preventing them from competing for some time. It is also highly effective at penetrating deep in large and solid muscle.
A Sports Massage is also great for relieving pain brought on by some illnesses and conditions, as very deep pressure would be applied. Deep massage and stretching techniques would be beneficial for those with chronic back pain, fibromyalgia and migraine sufferers.
A Sports Massage is a unique treatment like no other massage treatment, as there is such a combination of pressures, with deep pressure pinpointing pain to relaxing stretches, the muscles will inevitably relax and overall pain and tension will decrease. If you like a very firm massage, book yourself a Sports Massage and whatever your body type, regime or particular problem, the therapist will get to know you and your circumstances during a consultation and work with you throughout. It’s not what we would describe as relaxing, although a few of my clients have fallen asleep! It’s more revitalising and better for long term relief from pain and injury if you play sports than other forms of Massage Therapy.