I get asked this question all the time!
Whilst there are a number of similarities between sports massage techniques and those used in say, Swedish massage, the biggest difference is probably the fact that sports massages tend to begin with an in-depth postural assessment and range of movement tests. These are used to ascertain whether you have any postural issues that may be the cause of any aches and pains or discomfort. The sports massage therapist will also take a detailed description of any injuries or aches and pains you are suffering from so that they can build up a bigger picture in order to plan the best possible treatment or course of treatments.
Often, people come for a sports massage because they have sustained an injury – usually from a sporting activity or just through daily living. They may also be attending for a regular maintenance massage in order to manage an ongoing issue (such as poor posture at work), or just before or just after a big sporting event.
Sports massages aren’t really relaxing I’m afraid…
In order to manipulate the deeper tissues, the pressure tends to be harder but you should always inform your therapist if it is too much. Sports Massage Therapists are trained to communicate with their clients so unlike a relaxing massage, you’ll be in constant communication with your therapist regarding the treatment.
You may find that you are in some discomfort during your massage but you shouldn’t be in pain. It’s also worth noting that some of the techniques can cause you to ache a bit for a couple of days and you may even get a bruise. From my own experience, I’ve found that I often get a bit achey the next day (rather like DOMS) and I do get the occasional bruise too. In a couple of days time, the area worked on feels much better than it did before the massage. You may even find that things have improved immediately after the massage.
Who would benefit from a sports massage?
Not just sporty people with injuries! Sports massage is great for anyone who engages in any kind of repetitive action, whether it be sitting at a desk all day, lifting heavy goods in a warehouse or through your sport. Often people working in offices complain of sore necks, shoulders and backs and these are all issues that sports massage can help with. You don’t need to be injured to benefit from a sports massage; a monthly maintenance sports massage can help keep you feeling at your best.
Pre and post event massage
As the names suggest, these are massages performed directly before a sporting event or after one.
The pre-event massage is designed to warm up the muscles and help the sportsperson (runner, footballer, rugby player etc.) to feel more physically prepared for their event. Pre-event massages normally last about 10 minutes and are very fast paced.
Post event massages are performed either on the day of the event or a couple of days afterwards. They are designed to relax muscles and tissues that have been working extra hard during the event and are probably the most relaxing of all sports massages.
So, it’s very likely there’s a sports massage for you. Get in touch today to book your appointment.