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  • Writer's pictureFrancesco Holistic

The Pros and Cons of Sports Massage

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Sports massage therapy focuses on the prevention and healing of injuries to your muscles caused by physical activity. This is done by encouraging the circulation of blood and lymph and by reducing muscle tension in the affected area.

Sports massage can be intense and is not for everyone. However, if it is right for you, the benefits of a deep tissue sports massage can be quick, powerful and numerous.

Person getting a sports massage

Massage Therapy in Edmonton

Before we dive in, my name is Francesco and I specialize in deep tissue and sports massage in West Edmonton. I have over a decade of experience practicing massage therapy including my Advanced Orthopedic Massage Certification. If you have questions about massage or want a consultation, connect with me here.

Massage therapist pulling blanket over patient

The Pros and Cons of Sports Massage

While the name makes it sound like sports massage is reserved just for athletes, it can actually be used to treat injuries on any type of person. However, athletes commonly use sports massage as a way to combat injuries and prevent new ones.

Person running on track outside

The Pros

It’s Great To Use Before a Big Event

Athletes tend to use sports massage before a big event and it is usually applied to the parts of the body that will be used. For example, if an athlete is scheduled to run an ultra marathon, they would seek sports massage on their legs.

It’s a Great Way to Recover After an Event

Sports massage used after a big physical event focuses on rebalancing the physical body and with lighter, smoother strokes that move toward the heart and relax the muscles that have just been exercised or used.

It Targets Your Problem Areas

Sports massage can treat your entire body but typically it focuses on a particular area that is giving you problems. Whether it’s your shoulders or another area of your body you use continually, the massage therapist will apply sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of your muscles and connective tissues.

A Great Treatment for Acute Injuries

An acute injury is an injury that happens suddenly and causes sharp, traumatic pain. This can happen during a sporting match or physical events such as a sprain or fall. Sports massage is a great solution to help break up scar tissue that forms following an acute injury and reduce tension in muscles and tissue.

Runner tying their shoes on outdoor track

The Cons

It Can Be Painful

Sports massage involves slow deep strokes applied to a problem area that is probably already causing you pain. Which means it will likely cause you some discomfort. However, a sports massage should never be so painful that you start to tense up. If the pain becomes too much, ask your therapist to reduce the pressure.

It’s Not Very Relaxing

Because sports massage is used to treat problem areas and injuries, there is a fair amount of pressure being used. This means this is not the type of massage you want if you are looking to relax. It’s even common to have some lingering soreness for a few days after the massage.

It Might Require More Time Before Your First Appointment

As a massage therapist who specializes in deep tissue and sports massage, I need to know as much as I can about the area in question before treatment. That includes your prior history, past treatment, current issues and more, which might require a bit longer to cover before your first appointment.

Man working out at gym

Is Sports Massage Right For Me?

Like I said earlier, sports and deep tissue massage is not for everyone. It IS an effective treatment following a sports or acute injury but it can also help anyone suffering with tight muscles due to repeated activity at their job. This is to say… sports massage is not just for athletes.

So… is sports massage right for you?

If you have:

  • Sprain or strain

  • Upcoming sporting event

  • Acute injury

  • Chronic pain

  • Poor posture

Sports massage might be right for you. If you still have questions about sports massage or want to reach out, connect with me on Instagram or Facebook.

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