What is sports massage?
Sports massage is a hands-on treatment targeting the superficial and deep layers of your soft tissues (muscles and connective tissues). It can help to improve blood and lymphatic flow, desensitise the nervous system, release specific areas of tension and restore normal movement to your tissues. We will apply pressure using our palms, thumbs, fingers, knuckles, forearms or elbows. The main techniques used are effleurage, petrissage, compression and tapotement.
Is sports massage for me?
Sports massage is beneficial if you suffer with stiffness and tension in your muscles and soft tissues. Many athletes utilise the benefits of sports massage to help them recover after heavy training sessions or to prepare their bodies for competition. However, the benefits of sports massage are certainly not reserved for athletes as it can be very effective in relieving the stresses and strains that the body accumulates during everyday life. It is a good idea to deal with such tensions at an early stage as they can go on to lead to secondary movement problems.
N.B. We often use sports massage to help treat injuries but it is important to get a physiotherapy assessment first to ensure that it will be the most effective option for your particular issue.
What to expect
We will complete a short assessment to make sure that sports massage is appropriate for you. After this we will using various techniques to treat your tissues. Effleurage involves application of constant pressure through flowing stroking movements. When using petrissage we will also apply gentle torsion to the tissues. Compressions are used to apply specific point pressure to tendons and areas of deep or superficial tension (often called trigger points). Finally, if appropriate, the percussive technique of tapotement can be used either to heighten or dampen the nervous system.
As physiotherapists and sports massage practitioners, we are trained in various other forms of soft tissue treatment and so we are able to incorporate these techniques where they may be more effective. These techniques include Myofascial Release (MFR), Trigger Point Release (TPR), Acupressure, Active Release Technique (ART), Specific Soft Tissue Massage (SSTM) and Thai Yoga Massage (TYM).