445 Park Avenue, 9th floor . New York, NY 10022

212-307-3156

©2019 by Elite Healers Massage Therapy. 

What is

Sports Massage Therapy

Sports Massage is a form of Massage therapy that has a sports specific focus.  This does not mean it is just for a professional athlete but rather for anyone who consistently plays a specific sport or keeps fit and uses specific muscles very frequently. Sports Massage is one aspect of Sports Medicine and has its focus on recovery to improve performance & prevent future injuries.  When playing any specific sports we repeat the same movements over and over again with the same muscles. This can lead to fatigue, tightening of the muscles, changes in strength and even compensation patterns developing. All of these changes can affect the athlete’s performance and prevent the athlete from operating at peak performance. Sports Massage’s main goal is to help the athlete operate as close to their peak as possible.

To make the most out of a Sports Massage you should follow some basic guidelines: 

First, find a Massage Therapist who is familiar with your Sport and is knowledgable with anatomy.  This should be the golden rule since as an athlete you are trying to get to and maintain your peak performance. If the therapist doesn’t know your sport or anatomy you could be setting yourself up for injury and no athlete wants that. 

Second, stick with one (or two if you have to) Sports Massage therapists near you so they become very familiar with your body. This will help you get the most out of your on-going care from your Sports Massage treatments and the therapist can alert you to any changes they may find. 

 

Sports Massage Therapy can be divided into two smaller categories the pre-event massage and the post-event/recovery massage.  

Pre-event massage is self-explanatory in that this type of massage happens right before the athletic event and is meant to stimulate the blood, nerves, and muscles getting them ready to perform.  Pre-event Sports Massage should be stimulating, fast-paced and lasting no longer than 15 minutes at max. This type of massage is done in addition to the physical warm-up, not as a replacement. 

Post-event sports massage is a type of massage that occurs within 12 hours of the Sports event.  Post-event massage focuses on helping the athlete who wants to recover from their competition or event in a very specific manner.  Post-event massage is usually given on a massage table and looks similar to a full-body massage. Unlike Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage therapy Sports Massage focuses specifically on the muscles which worked the hardest recently.  This specificity will get the athlete ready for the next time they need to perform as soon as humanly possible.  

Sports Massage Therapy does not focus on an athlete who is injured and on the road to recovery.  In this case, the athlete will need either Medical massage (aka Orthopedic Massage), Deep Tissue Massage or in some cases Swedish Massage.

Pre-event

Sports Massage

  • Given right before a competition or athletic event.

  • Prepares the body for exercise.

  • Stimulates blood flow

  • Helps improve active range of motion.

  • A session is no longer than 15 minutes.

  • Usually given through clothing. 

Post-event

Sports Massage

  • Helps athlete's muscles recover as fast as possible, allowing them to compete sooner and at a higher level.

  • Targets the most used muscles of that Sport. 

  • Involves stretching techniques such as MET stretches, PNF stretches & static stretches.

  • Reduces the chance of feeling sore and having cramps. 

  • Helps to calm the nervous system.

Sports that

benefit from massage therapy

  • Professional Dancing

  • Marathon Running

  • Cycling

  • Tennis

  • Golf

  • Baseball

  • Basketball

  • Football

  • Soccer

  • Hockey

  • Wrestling

  • Martial Arts

  • Sprinting

  • Gymnastics 

  • Olympic Lifting

  • Powerlifting

  • Swimming

  • Triathlons 

  • Rowing

  • Archery

  • Rock Climbing

  • Yoga

  • Cross-fit

  • Squash 

  • Lacrosse

  • Rugby

  • Volleyball

Common injuries & issues in sports that are made better from Massage Therapy

  • Rotator Cuff tightness

  • Muscle cramps

  • Spasms

  • Delayed onset muscle soreness (a.k.a. DOMS)

  • Golfer's Elbow

  • Tennis Elbow

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Shin splints

  • Runner's knee

  • Piriformis syndrome

  • Frozen shoulder

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

  • Compartment syndrome

  • Myofascial pain syndrome