Sports massage is a type of massage suited to athletes or people with overuse injuries from other activities.
Competitive sports training causes overuse and trauma of certain muscle groups, specific to the type of sport being done.
Sports massage can address this and improve athletic performance.
Sports massage is not defined by a particular technique; rather it focuses on the individual needs of the athlete and recovery from soft tissue dysfunction.
For the sports person, this can be defined as preventing injuries, improving their endurance and performance and reducing recovery time.
Sports massage can be used to prepare for an event, recover from an event and for general maintenance during training.
This massage is also suitable for non-athletes who may have sustained injuries through activities involving repetitive movements at work or other physical activites such as gardening or gym work.
A sports massage therapist will use a combination of massage and stretching techniques; Swedish massage, acupressure, deep tissue massage, facilitated stretching, STR (Soft Tissue Release), MET (Muscle Energy Techniques), NMT (Neuromuscular Technique) positional release, soft tissue release, Myofascial release, visceral mobilization and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.
What can you expect from a session:
Relaxation is not the focus of sports massage and is not a full body massage.
It targets areas that are injured or in the case of athletes, muscle groups used in their sport.
The therapist will use their hands, fingers, thumbs, forearm†and elbow to apply pressure.
When working on scar tissue or crossed muscle fibers, sports massage can be uncomfortable and sometimes unavoidably painful.
Do I need to buy any equipment?
You may be required to remove clothing depending on the area being treated and if lubricants are needed.
Your practitioner will respect your modesty and cover areas not being worked on with towels or a sheet.
How long is a session
The first consultation will take longer than an hour to take a full case history and assessment.
Pre and post event massage can take around 15 minutes.
What is expected of clients?
You may have to move into different positions on the couch depending on areas to be treated.
To effectively recover from your injury or physical dysfunction, you may be required to make changes to your lifestyle, training or work environment if these are the causes of your problem.
Average costs / fees per
STO The Sports
LCSP London and
Counties Society of Physiology
of Physical and Natural Therapists
of Sports and Remedial Massage
Association of Massage and Manipulative Therapists
What can it treat?
Sports massage can help the following
Sports massage can also
For research on sports
massage and it’s techniques:
The Massage Therapy Foundation has a research database, you need to register to have access. https://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org
Main page for your Directory of Alternative therapists and Body therapies