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A sports massage is a vital part of training and preparation for competitive events. PHOTO/Minnesota School of Cosmetology

The benefits of sports massage are well known, but how exactly do sports massages work? There are three types of sports massage, Pre-event, Restorative, and Rehabilitative.

Sports massage is an important part of pre-event training and competition preparation, but what exactly is it? 

There are a few key types of sports massages, including Pre-event, Restorative, and Rehabilitative. Learn about the goals of these types of massages below.

This article provides an overview of each type, including their benefits and common uses. 

You can also learn about post-event massages, which are aimed at athletes who have just completed a physical challenge and have changed muscle states.


pre-event sports massage complements a warm-up. The purpose is to relax and soothe the body, allowing it to recover from the physical activity. 

It is often performed the day before a sporting event and is also an effective way to relieve overtraining and stress. 

This massage incorporates a variety of techniques, including deep compressions on the belly of the muscle, transverse frictions (especially effective when applied at the origin and insertion of a muscle), PNF Stretches, remedial exercises, and counterstrain.

While pre-event sports massages are typically given to people in a medical tent, it is important to know the difference between a deep tissue and maintenance-style massage. 

Deep tissue massages, on the other hand, can be harmful to the athlete. Deep pressures can cause injury and impair healing, exacerbate muscle cramps, and even induce nausea. 

It is critical to be cautious when choosing a massage therapist, particularly if you are a professional athlete.

A pre-event sports massage helps reduce anxiety and stress by relaxing the body before a sporting event. It also increases muscle temperature and elasticity by increasing friction against the skin. 

As a result, the muscles will be more flexible and prevent injuries. A pre-event massage can also increase flexibility and mobility by increasing muscle length. 

These benefits are beneficial during the competition itself. There are also several benefits to pre-event massage for athletes, as detailed below.


There are many benefits of receiving a sports massage, and each of them has its own benefits. Restorative sports massage helps prevent injury by easing specific muscle groups, increasing circulation, and promoting range of motion. 

Rehabilitative sports massage focuses on the specific pain or inflammation that a particular injury has caused. Its goal is to speed the body’s recovery and restore it to its former glory. 

Whether it is done before an event or after, restorative sports massage has numerous benefits.

While many people are curious about whether a sports massage will hurt, there are several factors to consider. One of the most important factors to consider is your level of pain tolerance. 

A massage therapist must be able to determine the level of pain you’re comfortable with, as varying levels of pain can impact your experience. 

However, it is important to remember that this discomfort is temporary and that the benefits will far outweigh the pain.

A professional sports massage is designed specifically for athletes, amateurs, and weekend warriors. 

The therapist must be able to accommodate the specific needs of the athlete. It must also be safe, as strained muscles can cause injuries. 

The massage will help the athlete perform at their peak level, while also minimizing the risk of injury. 

In addition, it will help prevent further injury by preventing a patient from developing a clot.


A therapist with a background in rehabilitative sports massage can use the techniques of this specialized type of massage therapy to help their patients recover from various injuries. 

They will typically focus on the muscles and tissues to restore strength and flexibility. These techniques can also be used to treat dysfunctions of other areas of the body. 

Clients in this type of massage therapy will typically receive weekly sessions, decreasing the frequency as the injury heals.

Rehabilitative massage is often performed in conjunction with physical therapy.

A therapist specializing in rehabilitative sports massage will focus on the trouble spots of an athlete’s body. 

It will help reduce swelling and break down scar tissue to restore mobility and flexibility to muscles that have sustained strain or injury during intense physical activity. 

In addition to providing pain relief and improving circulation, the massage also helps decrease the risk of further injury. 

Rehabilitative sports massage can also help to reduce inflammation and improve range of motion in sore muscles.

In addition to providing therapeutic benefits, athletes can receive a sports massage to increase their recovery time and reduce the likelihood of re-injury. 

Among the benefits of a sports massage are improved flexibility and increased range of motion, which are important in competitive sports. A relaxed mind is better able to perform well in a sporting event. 

Furthermore, sports massage can reduce muscle spasms and cramps, which will help the athlete recover faster.

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A pre-event sports massage complements a warm-up.

Goals of a sports massage

A sports massage is an excellent treatment for active individuals. During this session, the massage therapist focuses on releasing knots and loosening muscles. 

Lighter techniques are employed for these purposes. The aims of a sports massage also include maintaining body flexibility and looseness. 

A sports massage therapist is trained to use a variety of techniques. For example, effleurage is used to assist the lymphatic system, while transverse friction is used across the fibres.

The goals of a sports massage can be different for each person. Some individuals can tolerate rougher massages, while others are not as sensitive. 

The benefits of sports massage are numerous. They can increase athletic performance, reduce stress, and boost stamina. 

Those who engage in a physical activity may find a sports massage beneficial for managing race jitters. Some people also find massage therapy to be beneficial for dealing with menstrual cycle symptoms.

While the benefits of a sports massage may seem obvious, the massage itself is a complex process. 

The therapist must be familiar with anatomy, as well as with the specific physical demands of a particular sport. This is the only way he or she can ensure the safety of the massage clients. 

This type of treatment is crucial to the performance of athletes. The therapist should be trained to address the needs of each individual.

Techniques used

A sports massage uses various techniques to treat a client’s specific condition. Many of the techniques are used to relieve pain, increase circulation, and promote relaxation. 

These techniques may also include kneading, which involves a repetitive motion of lifting, squeezing, and moving tissues. 

MET also uses the idea that opposing muscles need to contract in order to relax. 

A sports massage therapist may also use Reciprocal Inhibition (RI), in which the client performs a muscle contraction against a resistance that relaxes the opposing muscle. 

This helps to relieve pain and increase tone.

The skeletal system of the body is the foundation of the body. It comprises 206 bones and associated joints, cartilages, and ligaments. 

The head and neck are part of the axial skeleton, while the limbs and bones contribute to the appendicular skeleton. The skeletal system is a complicated system, so sports massages focus on identifying and preventing trigger points.

One of the most important effects of sports massage is increased tissue elasticity. This happens because the massage therapist uses various methods of stretching to move tissues transversely. 

The muscles are also lifted over their supporting structures, which enhances flexibility and extensibility. 

This results in improved performance and reduced risk of injury. 

And because of this, sports massage is an excellent way to treat a variety of sports injuries. 

This article explores various sports massage techniques.

Conditions in which it is not possible to treat a client

Some conditions are not suitable for treatment with sports massages, such as those in which a person is in a weakened state. 

A client undergoing treatment for these conditions should consult a doctor to rule out any other underlying health problems. 

While many health conditions can be relieved by massage, some may require specific treatment. There are several situations in which a massage therapist cannot treat a client.

Contraindications to massages are extensive. These include contagious diseases, serious pain, and kidney or lung disease.

The massage should not be given to a person with a history of deep vein thrombosis, or in the presence of chronic kidney or bone disease. 

A client suffering from chronic or acute gout should not undergo massage treatment while in a similar condition.