Sports Massage – What exactly is it, who’s it for and does it hurt…?

Sports Massage is a collection of different techniques, such as Neuromuscular release, myofascial release, MET (muscle energy technique) stretching, to name but a few. It’s a lot more than simply a Deep Tissue Massage and is tailored entirely to suit you and what you need at the time. As such there’s no such thing as a standard sports massage or a set routine, nor is it possible to provide a 60 minute full body sports massage. It’s very rare that I provide a treatment of less than 60 minutes and often its 90 or 120 minutes.

So who’s it for or who can benefit? Most of us at some time or other can use a Sports Massage, I treat people who take part in sports from recreational runners through to competitive athletes and those who do no sports at all. In short, Sports Massage is intended to get your muscles back into optimum condition and will stretch off short & tight muscles and wake up and activate long & weak muscles. It also helps flush metabolic waste out of your muscles and help push lymphatic fluid on its way, in addition this also increases blood flow which brings with it oxygen which in turn aids the healing of muscles.

A common problem that I see every week is stiff and sore shoulder/neck area coupled with shoulders hunching forward. This allows the Pec’s to shorten and tighten and hold the shoulders in the forward position, the antagonists (opposite muscles) in the neck and back of shoulders are then lengthened and weak as they are now constantly on a stretch and are predisposed to injury. I worked with a client recently who had this very problem and by the time of our first appointment had a headache that had lasted over a week. We did some myofascial release in the neck/shoulder/base of skull areas followed by some work on the Pecs to get them nicely warmed up, then some MET to get those shoulders back down and then some nice deep work on the back of the shoulders which also included some neuromuscular release. Although we didn’t solve all the issues in the first appointment the headache abated which was our primary concern. Weekly appointments for another two weeks followed by one two weeks later and we’re now on to monthly maintenance massage and no more problems. This client doesn’t take part in sport as such but has a fairly active day job. We looked at the cause of the problem and established that it was largely unavoidable but have put in place a simple stretching routine to counteract it. This along with our monthly treatments should be enough to keep further issues at bay.

Does it hurt? No, Maybe, Sometimes, Possibly, Yes. Some of the deeper work can be uncomfortable but at the end of the day it’s your treatment and we’ll agree a pain scale and tolerance level before we start. There are different techniques we can use if something it too painful. For further information have a look at our website or pick up a leaflet from our Seale clinic if you’re passing.

Rich Jackson

Tel: 07955 830235