What is sports massage?

Sports Massage

Sports massage is a form of treatment specifically designed for soft tissues injuries. It is commonly performed on athlete. Sports massage is a popular technique of applying different types of pressure on the body. Though generally applied using the hands, other body parts, such as the elbows, forearms, knees, and even feet, can also be used. In the same way, a massage device can also be employed to effectively apply the needed pressure. The overall goal of massage is to provide relaxation and well-being.


Sports massage is one of the numerous types of massages designed specifically to treat musculoskeletal injuries and pain. It is also known as manual therapy since it involves the manual application of pressure to knead the affected muscles. To some degree, it also involves manipulation and mobilisation of joints. Aside from treatment, this type of massage also helps prevent injuries, enhance the performance of muscles, and boost overall athletic performance.

Sports massage can be classified based on when it is performed. There is a pre-event sports massage done within an hour before a game or activity that is usually followed by an inter-event massage for those who need to rest in between games. A post-event massage, on the other hand, is done when the athlete cools down while a restorative sports massage is performed during rest days.

How is the Procedure Performed?

There are several techniques used in sports massage therapy, these include:

Effleurage technique, which uses different stroking movement with the hand gliding over the surface of the skin. The stroking is done in a rhythmical manner to increase circulation and stretch tight tissues.

Petrissage technique, which involves kneading movements. The muscles are essentially grasped and squeezed to stretch their fibres and aid in the exchange of tissue fluids. This also helps relax the muscles and increase mobility. Using the pads of fingers and the thumbs, the therapist applies the friction technique to separate adhesion and realign muscles fibres. This is done over isolated areas and applies considerable pressure designed to break down scar tissues and bring back its elasticity. This technique can also stimulate blood flow and enhance the healing process.

Tapotement technique, which is typically done to prepare the muscles for physical activity and uses hacking and cupping motions. The therapist uses both hands to strike the skin and make characteristic sounds. These motions are meant to stimulate blood flow away from the deep tissue and may be used sparingly, according to the need of individual athletes.

Friction. Friction massage, the type of sports massage in which strokes are applied in circular or linear motion, is intended to help the athlete by creating an inflammatory response, thus breaking down and separating scar or adhered tissues.

Vibration. Used in pre-event massage sessions, vibration works by shaking the target muscle groups, a movement that promotes relaxation and improved circulation.

Post time: 05-13-2022