Sports massage vs deep tissue massage

sports massage deep tissue

A good massage has the ability to make you feel relaxed or invigorated, and is certainly a treat to be looked forward to as an important element of self-care. There are many different types of massage available, and it can be confusing to decide which one is right for you. Massages vary greatly in technique and pressure. If you want to get the maximum benefit from your massage it’s important to understand how they differ, so you can choose the right one for you at the right time.

Two of the most common massage therapies are deep tissue and sports massage. But what is the difference between a deep tissue massage and a sports massage? There is a lot of confusion surrounding this, with good reason.

Many of the techniques used in a deep tissue massage and a sports massage are the same, with both therapies using deep, slow strokes, kneading and circular motions designed to reduce muscle tension in the body. These are both intense massages, typically more so than a relaxing Swedish or hot stones massage.

While there are similarities between these popular therapeutic massages, there are also some key differences. Depending on your lifestyle, you may benefit more from a deep tissue massage than a sports massage – or vice versa.

If you are considering booking a deep tissue massage or sports massage, here’s what you need to know to determine the right massage treatment for you.

What is a deep tissue massage?

A deep tissue massage will focus on treating muscular tension by removing knots and kinks in the connective tissues that surround your joints and muscles. It works deeper than the surface to uncover the troublesome spots, usually tense from stress and daily living. Think along the lines of a knotted tense shoulder!

Unlike a soothing massage where the therapist applies gentle strokes that are designed for relaxation, a full body deep tissue massage will target the deeper muscle layers using slow, sustained and firm pressure. You’ll feel that shoulder knot being worked out

The techniques used in a deep tissue massage will encourage blood flow to the joints and connective tissues to release tension in tight muscles. It’s often the preferred massage therapy for anyone who doesn’t have a specific area of concern but wants to release tension across the whole body. We all carry tension in our body, and it can be very hard to relieve on your own.

A deep tissue massage can also be helpful in the relief of chronic pain. When your body experiences pain, the surrounding muscles become tight through a protective approach. Deep tissue massage can relieve this tension, allowing the body to become more relaxed, which can also help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety that often accompany chronic pain.

We recommend booking a deep tissue massage if you experience any of these issues:

  • Tight, tense muscles throughout the body
  • Anxiety or high-stress levels 
  • Conditions such as sciatica and fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Limited mobility

What is a sports massage?

It is a common misconception that you have to be a professional athlete to benefit from a sports massage. While it is the most popular form of massage for sportspeople, as it can help to prevent injury and aid recovery times, it can also be incredibly beneficial to anyone who leads an active life.

A sports massage therapist will focus on the manipulation of soft connective tissue, such as tendons, ligaments and muscles, to reduce tension and decrease the chance of injury from sporting activities. They are experienced in treating common sports-related injuries, such as strained hamstrings or torn ligaments, to promote healing and relieve pain.

Unlike a deep tissue massage, which is usually administered across the whole body, a sports massage pinpoints specific areas that tend to be problematic, or certain muscle groups that are tight or stressed from repetitive movements. So, whether you are a champion marathon runner or have been tied to your desk all day and are feeling the strain, a therapeutic sports massage is a great way to relieve the pain and tension in areas of the body that have been overworked.

It is not unusual for a sports massage to focus on one particular area of the body if you want this, for example, the legs.

A sports massage will be beneficial if you want to:

  • Warm-up or cool-down after strenuous activity
  • Minimise the risk of a sports-related injury
  • Reduce the pain associated with repetitive movements
  • Improve posture or flexibility
  • Recover faster after activity

Your choice: deep tissue massage or sports massage 

In summary, a deep tissue massage is the best option for relief from general pain and tension; whereas a sports massage will suit anyone looking for the treatment of injuries or repetitive sprains or strains that have built up over time in specific soft tissue and muscle areas. 

There is some crossover in the approaches, and you may benefit from both. You should also be able to discuss your particular concerns and hopes from the massage, with your therapist, and receive a massage tailored to your needs.

All the benefits of a professional massage from your own home

If you are still unsure which treatment option would be right for you, contact our fully-qualified massage therapists who can answer any questions you may have.

Our therapists will always consult with you to discuss specific areas of concern and listen to your therapy goals to determine the right type of massage for you. They can then deliver either a sports massage or deep tissue massage in the comfort of your own home. 

Whether you want relief from a sporting injury or to reduce stress with a deep tissue full body massage to relax and release tension, we can deliver all the benefits to you in comfortable and familiar surroundings. That will go some way to help with unwinding too!

Book your sports massage or deep tissue massage from one of our professional therapists at Secret Spa.

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