Sports Massage is all about using massage for the benefit of all sports and exercise participants.
It covers the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of the soft tissues of the body, namely: muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Sports massage should be tailored to each individual's needs, to positively enhance each individual's ability to perform.
Benefits of sports massage include
Sports massage can be beneficial at various stages of participation
Regardless of whether you exercise or play sport to keep fit, or compete from club to international level, sports massage is likely to have something to offer you.
As members of the Sports Massage Association, we are able to identify anyone for whom sports massage would be ill-advised, or detrimental to their short, or long-term, well being.
We assess each individual and provide the appropriate massage techniques, and advise on alternative action if required.
The basic techniques in sports massage are the same as the basic techniques in any other forms of therapeutic massage. However, sometimes, with sports massage, the therapist may apply the techniques more firmly and deeply. Sports massage therapists may also make more use of friction techniques, which involve applying deep pressure to tissues repeatedly to break down adhesions and soften scar tissue. In some instances, sports massage techniques are designed to reduce an injury back to its acute stage in order to trigger the body's natural healing response.
Some forms of massage are very superficial and can be very relaxing. A sports massage is applied deeper to manipulate muscle tissue more effectively. This can induce a deeper relaxation although at the time some techniques may border on the uncomfortable.
However, the massage should not be so painful that it causes a client to tighten up, or tense with pain, as it has little benefit to them. During treatment, the sports massage therapist will check how the pressure is and gauge how the client reacts to deeper techniques in certain areas.
Prior to treatment, the sports massage therapist will take some health details from the patient and check that there are no contraindications, (i.e. things that may be harmful if a massage were given).
If the therapist believes that the patient has a contraindication, then the patient will be given the appropriate advice; which may be a referral to another healthcare professional for further treatment, or advice, before re-presenting for a sports massage. The therapist reserves the right to refuse massage, if they believe it is unsafe to do so.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and underwear. Don't worry; modesty will be preserved at all times and patients are covered with a towel to protect any clothing from oils used.