The current role of Sports Massage as I see it is to facilitate the alleviation of stress and tension that can build up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Sports massage can be applied to anyone from any walk of life, whether the client is an office worker, a casual trainer or an athlete.
This is also the belief of the Sports Massage Association or SMA, who states that “It is applicable not just for sports people but to anybody wishing to guard against or recover from a soft tissue injury.”
Sports Massage employs some of the techniques of Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage, however, this massage is more tailored and focused on specific complaints.
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A sports massage is a type of massage that is used to treat soft tissue injuries. These kinds of injuries are common amongst athletes, hence the term sports massage. An athlete may get a sports massage before a game (or match, competition, performance), during a sports event or at half-time, or after the game is over.
Beyond just treating injuries, sports massages can help prevent injuries, strengthen and support muscles, and boost overall athletic performance. Sports Massage can also be beneficial for those with remedial issues or chronic or ongoing musculoskeletal problems.
The treatment will involve a visual assessment and range of movement or ROM assessments, which will highlight postural issues and musculoskeletal imbalances. From there a treatment plan will be formulated and progress will be charted. A series of treatments will usually be recommended. Sports Massage is aimed at getting specific results and this is what separates it from any other massage.
During a sports massage, a masseuse will often focus more on specific muscles and areas rather than your whole body. If you have an injury, that is where they will focus, but if not, they will focus on the muscles that you use most for your sport. Before your first massage starts, we will have you go through a series of exercises to assess what you need.
Sports Massage is popular with athletes in London, many of who include sports massage as part of their regular training programmes. It also has tangible benefits, including decreasing levels of cortisol and increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine. Looking at the athlete on a holistic level the mind and body connection is integral when pushing for excellence or reaching goals.
In today’s world, Sports Massage could also play a role in the rehabilitation of those with addiction issues. Substance use is a major current health issue, according to the NHS, an estimated 2 million people in the UK are fighting an addiction. Incorporating soft tissue massage into treatment for addicts helps with the removal of chemical irritants and promotes oxygenated blood on a cellular level.
It is well documented that many can benefit from a Sports Massage from regular exercisers to those with physical day to day stresses. It can be preventative as well as recovery-focused.
The benefits are similar to a Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage but can be more bespoke and the therapist more precise. The aim of the treatment is to leave the client feeling not just relaxed or good but better. This massage can be suited to an individual that wants to push themselves physically and strives to be the best they can be.
Below we discuss the benefits of sports massage in three specific categories:
Sports Massage therapists are trained to a higher level than Massage Therapists, they have a higher level of knowledge of anatomy and physiology. They are also trained to work with injuries. Like physiotherapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths, the treatment is working with soft tissue.
Sports Massage therapists are trained to use a lot of the same techniques as these healthcare professionals. The treatment is more focused on muscle strain and injury and rehabilitation plans are tailored to the individual.
Alongside the massage, Sports Massage involves a range of other techniques that help to target problem areas, particularly various types of stretches to relax muscles, address musculoskeletal imbalance, help tackle fibrotic tissues and improve posture.
Below we discuss in detail the variety of techniques we use for a sports massage at Bodywork Massage London, including how these methods work on the body.
Most people can get a sports massage, even if they are not an active athlete. It is true that active athletes are generally the biggest demographic getting sports massages, but athletes healing from injuries (not currently practicing) also tend to get sports massages to speed up their recovery process.
Beyond athletes, many people who suffer from chronic pain or have a limited range of motion get sports massages. Generally speaking, the only people that need to avoid sports massages are people with blood clots, open wounds, broken bones, burns, or ruptured muscles/tendons.
A sports massage is usually rather deep tissue, so if you have any of those health issues, this type of massage could end up doing more damage then good or causing you severe pain. If you are concerned that a health condition you have may put you at risk during a sports massage, make sure to ask your therapist about it before you begin.
A sports massage is used to improve your pain in the long run, but you may experience some soreness afterward, depending on the intensity of the techniques used. If you feel any intense pain during the massage, definitely let your therapist know, especially if they are working on an injured area.
Before you get a sports massage, you should make sure to let your therapist know about any injuries and health conditions you may have. Important health conditions to let your therapist know about include but are not limited to, high blood pressure, cancer, inflammation, varicose veins, and skin conditions.
As discussed above, there is a wealth of advantages to receiving a sports massage. The most common reasons people opt for one is to help with the following aspects:
A sports massage reinforces your muscles and helps you heal, both of which increase an athlete’s performance. Many athletes will get a sports massage fifteen to forty-five minutes before a game to improve their performance.
Through this kind of massage, scar tissue will break down, and your muscles will get stronger, which will help prevent future injuries. There are massage techniques specifically designed for injury prevention.
If you have a soft tissue injury or sore muscles, a sports massage can help reduce your pain level significantly by providing your muscles with more nutrients and circulation to heal properly.
For runners, after a race, their muscles can be really tense, and if they do not give their muscles a chance to relax and heal, they could sustain some fairly serious injuries. A sports massage can help a runner recover.
Of course, many athletes get regular sports massages before, during, and after heavy workout sessions or games, but it can be trickier to figure out when to get one if you are not that kind of athlete or not an athlete at all. You can schedule regular sports massages if you want, but if you would rather only go when you really need one, pay attention to any specific areas of pain.
If you start to notice that a certain muscle, joint, or region of your body is hurting, that is a great time to go and get a sports massage. If you are unsure if a sports massage is right for you, most professional massage therapists, physical therapists, or movement therapists will be able to evaluate you and give you a recommendation.
The length of your sports massage depends on a variety of factors, but generally, each session will either be thirty, sixty, or ninety minutes long. A thirty-minute session is usually long enough if you have met with the therapist before and only want a small area worked on.
For instance, if you have pain in a specific joint, thirty minutes should be plenty of time for them to locate and work on that problem spot. You should expect at least a sixty-minute session if it is your first appointment because you will need time to discuss all important information (such as your health concerns) before you even get started with the massage. A sixty-minute session is also good if you have a region of your body you want worked on.
Some athletes/people may only need their upper body, or their lower body massaged, not both, and sixty minutes should be enough time for that. Finally, if you want a full body massage, you should expect a ninety-minute appointment, so they have enough time to work out any knots and tension all over your body.
Generally, you should wear loose and light clothing. Anything tight to the skin will make it hard for our therapists to work your muscles and anything thick will prevent us from being able to successfully complete many of the massage techniques listed above because there will be too much of a barrier between them and your tissue/skin.
If the weather or the rest of your day does not permit you to wear clothes like that, simply pack a bag with clothes and change when you get here. Additionally, pending on your area of injury or condition, we may ask you to remove your clothing in order for our therapists to access the specific spot. In this case, we will provide clean towels and sheets for you to lie under to protect your modesty, and we will only expose the area that pressure is required.
Afterward, make sure to bring a comfortable and loose set of clothes to travel home in, to allow for the massage to reap its benefits and to not cut off any circulation.
Contact us on 07904 786 888 for a massage tailored to your individual needs and requirements. Our expert team of staff will conduct a detailed assessment before the treatment, to help decide what benefits you would like to reap from the sports massage.
We look forward to hearing from you through the phone or through our online form.
Liverpool Street is the nearest station, however, I’m only about half a mile away from Shoreditch High St, Moorgate, Fenchurch and Cannon Street Stations.
A few minutes walk from Liverpool Street Station, Bishopsgate Exit, cross the road at the traffic lights, you’ll see a Tesco’s on the other side of the road, turn left, past Boots and the next right, Middlesex Street, I’m on the right, opposite Nando’s.
15 minutes walk. Come out of the station, take a left on Bishopsgate, walk down until you see the Wooden Shades pub, lake a left, crossing the road onto Middlesex Street, I’m opposite Nando’s.
12 minutes walk, come out of the station, take a left onto Moorfields, then a right on to South Place, turning Eldon Street until you see Itsu, the road bends to the right, take a left on to Liverpool Street.
12 minutes walk, come out of the station, take a left on to Fenchurch Street, then at the junction take a right on to Bishopsgate, walk along on the right-hand side until you see Dirty Dicks pub and take another right onto Middlesex Street, I’m opposite Nando’s.
17 minutes walk, come out of the station, take a right on to Walbrook, walk past Bank tube station, carry on until Threadneedle Street, then on to Bishopgate, cross over to the right-hand side, past Dirty Dicks pub, next right on to Middlesex Street. I’m opposite Nando’s.