What is Sports Massage? We answer your questions on Sports Massage
Flawless Physio Logo

Sports Massage

What is Sports Massage?

Sports massage provides pain relief from muscular tightness and helps to reduce and release muscular tension and restrictions as well as increasing the range of joint motion. Sports massage utilizes soft tissue massage techniques, trigger point therapy, and specific stretching techniques.

Sports massage can help with any pain or discomfort in any of your muscles from everyday activities such as walking, sitting for a long period, sleeping position, and repetitive movement during work, driving, gardening, and physical weight exercises and personal training? 

Generally, tight and restricted scar tissue becomes very sticky and adhesive. They bundle together causing soft tissues to be overused, post-injury, and an imbalance of muscles or post-surgery.

Sports massage techniques aim to break down the adhesion and knots in tightly restricted scar tissue. The trigger pointing technique is one of the methods which apply isolated pressure using the thumb and release. It breaks the cycle of pain by releasing the thumb which has built up and keeps muscles contracted.

Picture of sports massage

What are the benefits of Sports Massage?

Sports massage improves circulation and blood flow, brings oxygen to the body, and eliminates toxins and lactic acid in muscles during high-intensity activity. The body releases endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine as positive hormones which make muscles to be relaxed. The main benefits of sports massage for back pain are the following:

  • Increases the small spinal joint movement by mild compression along the spine which leads to creating larger spinal movement.
  • Increase the level of general physical activity and exercises.
  • Increase the mobility of shoulder and neck joints by specific Muscles stretching to targeted muscles around the joints.
  • Improve imbalance muscles on upper, middle, and lower back caused by poor posture, inadequate sitting position, walking or pelvic position is not aligned. Sport massage therapists work on those shortened and tight muscles on the anterior and posterior sides to lengthen and relax the tissue.
  • Reduce the pain condition on weakness and stretched muscles through the deep anterior neck and middle back caused by upper cross syndrome as well as an anterior hip flexor, anterior abdominal and gluteal muscles caused by the lower cross syndrome.
  • The above will lead these muscles to perform individual jobs effectively after several Sport Massage sessions in conjunction with recommendation exercises.

Does a Sports Massage hurt?

A Sports massage should always be applied without causing pain. If you have never had a relaxing massage before and worry that a Sports Massage might hurt, we can explain to you here the common processes and the expectations during and after a Sports Massage appointment.

When patients come for a Sports Massage, they may have ongoing conditions, some common examples include tight calves from running, tense shoulders from sitting at a desk, recent injury from a sprain or an accident, inadequate exercises on weak muscles, and overused repetitive continuous manual movement at gym weight training or work environment.

Another important body component in Sports Massage is the Fascia, which is a thin connective tissue made of elastin and collagen that surrounds the organs, bones, muscles, and tendons within the body. This Fascia becomes hard and loses elasticity by continuous poor posture and physical trauma from the result of ongoing conditions as above.

The trained and experienced therapist first assesses and finds your pain threshold by observing your breathing techniques to manage any discomfort. The therapist asks for your comfort level during the session and adjusts pressure when they perform intensive advanced techniques.

Prior to the advanced techniques, the therapist utilizes myofascial release techniques to stretch the fibrous hard fascia with slow movement, so that this manipulation and stretching at the beginning of the Sports Massage will relax the fascia and tissue. Since the tissue is relaxed from this preparation step, the therapist can gradually work on the deeper layer of muscles using other advanced techniques such as Trigger point work, Soft Tissue Release, and Muscle Energy Techniques.

It is recommended that sports massage should not be used until at least 48 hours after an injury when the risk of bleeding and swelling has decreased.

What happens to your body after a sports massage?

After receiving a Sports massage, you could feel a bit sore for a few days from the intensive manipulations, stretching, and deep pressuring of the fascia and tissue as well as feeling thirsty and tired. Your body metabolizes and removes the waste product via the circulatory and lymphatic system from the soft tissue where the therapist worked on it.

Drinking plenty of water and taking warm baths will assist the process as per our recommendations. It usually takes 24 to 48 hours to receive maximum effect and benefit from a Sports Massage.

What are the best Sports Massage Techniques?

Some effective and major Sports massage techniques are the following:

Soft Tissue Massage – The therapist starts with a soft tissue massage technique to produce more endorphins so that muscles are relaxed for further intense techniques. It uses gentle tissue massage techniques and targets muscles, tendons, ligaments or other connective tissue such as fascia.

Soft Tissue Release (STR) – The therapist restores normal flexibility to a muscle, particularly when muscles are very tense and shortened. The therapist actively stretches a small area of soft tissue, muscle fibre, tendons, and fascia in a restricted area and applies comfortable pressure to the muscles to remove any adhesions in the muscles and increase the range of movement and mobility.

Muscle Energy Technique (MET) – MET is used to lengthen, strengthen and improve the range of movement of muscles. Therapists apply a resistance to the desired muscles while you contract it and push against the therapist. The contraction is held for 5 to 7 seconds and repeat the movement several times and you have a short rest in between.

Myofascial Release – Myofascial release aims to release muscle tension and break up scar tissue on overused or injured muscles by utilizing moderate traction and twisting techniques with gentle stretching which is applied several times to completely relax the muscles and aims to prevent injury from occurring. For example, muscle spasms, muscle injury, arthritis, whiplash, and fibromyalgia conditions receive benefits from Myofascial release treatment.

How much does a Sports Massage Cost?

60-minute Massage: £70
45-minute Massage: £55
Get 20% off your first appointment when you book online

Other Related Articles 

How often should I have a Sports Massage?

Deep Tissue Massage 

020 8785 2232Book Online Email