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What is Sports Massage Therapy?

Updated: Dec 6, 2023


Sports Massage Therapy Students at Active Health Group
Sports Massage Therapy Students at Active Health Group

Sports massage is a type of massage therapy used to treat and prevent injuries, improve athletic performance, and promote overall health and well-being. It involves the manipulation of soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, using a range of techniques.


Sports massage is typically used by athletes, both professional and recreational, as a way of preparing for and recovering from sporting events. It can help to improve circulation, reduce muscle tension and soreness, and increase range of motion, which can all contribute to improved athletic performance. Sports massage can also help to prevent injuries by identifying areas of tension or imbalance in the body and addressing them before they become more serious.


Sports massage is also used by non-athletes as a way of promoting relaxation and reducing stress. It can be an effective way of relieving tension headaches, reducing muscle pain and stiffness, and improving sleep quality. In addition, sports massage can be used as part of a treatment plan for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain, neck pain, and tendonitis.


Sports massage therapists typically have specialised training in sports massage techniques and may work in a variety of settings, including sports clinics, fitness centres, and private practices. They may also work alongside other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists and sports medicine physicians, as part of a multidisciplinary team.


Is Sports Therapy Massage the same as Sports Massage?


There is a difference between sports therapy and sports massage, especially in terms of training. Sports Therapy covers a whole range of treatment modalities, which includes sports massage, but also adds sports injury treatments, electrotherapy, and rehabilitation. Sports Therapy Massage, in our opinion, would be sports massage performed by a sports therapist, and would also include additional treatment modalities, such as myofascial release and exercise therapy.


Why do some sports massage therapists call themselves Soft Tissue Therapists?


Sports Massage, in effect, treats the soft tissues of the body, so it does make sense. Soft Tissue Therapy is also a better term for someone who is trained in many different manual therapy techniques, such as muscle energy techniques, trigger point therapy, soft tissue release, and peripheral joint mobilisations.


Where are Active Health Group sports massage courses placed?


We offer two levels of sports massage courses, Level 3 is the foundation course, which gives the therapist the ability to perform sports massage on non-injured tissue, it covers basic consultation skills, which includes a basic postural assessment. A Level 3 sports massage therapist can also offer pre and post-event massage, which is beneficial for sporting and physical activity events.


The AHG Level 4 is the most comprehensive one available in the UK, as we cover a wider range of techniques, at a deeper level than any other school. As well as comprehensive clinical assessment techniques, we train our learners to provide higher-level postural assessments, and myofascial postural realignment techniques to support the correction of postural dysfunction. We also cover trigger point therapy, myofascial release, soft tissue release, soft tissue mobilisation and peripheral joint mobilisations and articulations. We also cover sports injury treatments using cryotherapy and thermal therapy.




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