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What Is The Difference Between Sports Massage and Sports Therapy

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Sports Massage

Sports massage is one of the many kinds of athletes’ injury prevention strategies. To heal the soft tissue injuries, many athletes opt for sports massages. There may be some confusion about what sports massage truly is considering the fact that these days there are quite a lot of people practicing the art of ‘massage’. Sports masseurs often define sports massage as a form of massage which aids sportsmen in performing better.

Sports massage is different from regular massage because sports massage is used to attain a specific goal by using specific massage techniques.

Key Principles:

There are three key principles which tell a masseur how to make use of the sports massage correctly on an athlete.

The first element is timing. Timing helps you determine whether an athlete needs a massage before or after his match; after injury; pre recovery period; or when a sportsman has injured himself.

The second element is technique. Technique is an important factor to consider for a masseur because he needs to figure out the kind of pressure or motion he will be applying to the athlete.

The third element is intent. Intent helps you determine your strategy. So lets’ say an athlete badly injured himself and you intend on fixing the scar tissues then the technique you use would contain treatments like  cross fiber friction and compression which would then be followed by ice treatment. However if your client asked for a pre-event massage then your intent would be to increase blood flow in his body. So the techniques you use would be stretching and compression.

Hopefully, by now you can tell that sports massage isn’t as easy as just getting a hang of one technique and working with it. There are plenty of factors which help you in determining the kind of technique you make use of.

To be a good sports masseur, you should be able to work with the three key principles and use the right kind of technique by figuring out the intent and the timing.

Contradiction of Sports Massage:

A contradiction of sports massage is that there are times when continuing with a massage therapy is actually more detrimental to the injury than its benefits. In such cases sports massages should be avoided.

Massage Clients:

As you can probably tell that most clients for sports massages are athletes. Athletes may include professional trainers from school or colleges who train most of the week.

Sports Therapy

Sports therapy is a proactive take on injuries. In addition to looking after people who have been injured, sports therapy also works on preventing injuries before they even happen.

It deals essentially with physical issues like broken bones and sprained muscles with the help of procedures like back rubs and electrotherapy, and also keeping up wellness through eating routine and work out.

The courses that a sports therapist has to take include subjects on physiotherapy, dietetics, and physical health.

Sports Therapy is a part of healthcare that is in particular associated with safeguarding the health of athletes and the restoration of the patient back to ideal levels of functionality, and works on providing an athlete with fitness without being concerned with age.

It uses the standards of physical activities and practice sciences joining physiological and pathological strategies to encourage the athlete for staying fit and focusing on his health.

What Does a Sports Therapist Do?

People are often confused when they are told about sports therapists. They don’t know what exactly they do. So let me tell you that sports therapists are people who have received a fair deal of training in the field of physical therapy. They have received training in principles that have evidences of the fact that they work.

Sports therapists will also ideally have a set of massage techniques that they can make use of during their practice.

In order to renew their membership, the members of The Society of Sports Therapists are required to show that they are competent and up to date on their skills on a yearly basis. So you can rest assured that the sports therapists of this society will be highly credible.

As a sports therapist you won’t just have to deal with injured athletes but you could also get clients who have issues with mobility, back pain, and have posture problems.

However a sports therapist may be different from a sports massage therapist, who for the most part is not taught rehabilitation exercises or electrotherapy. To find a sports therapist you may have to look for him in gyms or health clinics.


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future focus
100 Barrington Rd
Goring by Sea
West Sussex
BN12 4RS

Phone and Text:
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My areas of expertise

  • Sports Therapy
  • Tui Na, ( Chinese Massage and Manipulation)
  • Traditional Acupuncture
  • Specialised Body Acupuncture
  • Auricular Acupuncture
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

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