What’s The Difference Between Deep Tissue Massage And Sports Massage?

What is a Deep Tissue Massage?

As the name suggests, a deep tissue massage consists of a therapist who uses firm pressure to manipulate the deeper tissues of the body, including the muscles. There are a number of reasons why someone might want or need this particular type of massage therapy, such as helping to relieve muscle tension, reducing stress, breaking down knots, reducing toxin build-up, and increasing blood flow to the muscles. Deep tissue massage tends not to focus on a specific injury or area of the body, but rather to be given as a full body massage or to focus on the lower limbs or the upper body.

What is a Sports Massage?

Sports massage, on the other hand, differs in that it is more area-specific, focusing on larger and older nodes that have accumulated over longer periods of time due to high training volume, trauma, muscle imbalance or poor biomechanics. The objective of sports massage is either to help recover from injury, to prevent injury, or to assist performance by helping to boost power generation and range of motion.

The key differences between Deep Tissue Massage and Sports Massage

Although both techniques are similar in their focus on pain and tension relief, the key difference is that sports massage therapy is applied to athletic individuals. Where many people can benefit from deep tissue massage for a variety of muscular problems, sports massage is used specifically for healing or prevention of sports-related injuries.

Sports massage therapists are trained in the treatment of injuries experienced by athletes, such as hamstring strains or shin splints. Deep tissue massage therapists can identify and treat areas of muscle weakness, but usually do not treat sport-specific injuries. In this case, deep tissue massage is best suited to those seeking to treat injuries such as back and neck strains.

When to use Deep Tissue or Sports Massage Therapy

If you don’t know if deep tissue massage or sports massage is best for you, this will help you figure it out. Generally, deep tissue massage can be used to relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, work knots, reduce muscle stiffness, and increase circulation. Deep tissue massage is often given as a full body massage, rather than focusing on a specific area of the body.

Sports massage, on the other hand, is a targeted massage approach that focuses on specific areas of the body in need of healing or relief. Sports massage would be better suited for an athlete or someone who engages in regular physical activity. Those who play tennis or participate in any sport that requires repetitive movements may find that sporting massage can help to relieve pain in muscles and joints as well as reduce swelling or jarring. Sports massage can also be used by athletes to condition their bodies and help them recover.

Both deep tissue and sports massage use similar strokes, including kneading, circular movements, and tapping to relieve muscle pain and tension. A person may have more reason to seek out sports massage if they experience overuse of physical activity injuries. On the other hand, a person undergoing deep tissue massage may seek more general relief from muscle pain and mental stress. These types of clients do not have to participate in a certain activity, be an athlete or have a specific injury to receive a deep tissue massage.