Common Massage Techniques in Sports Physical Therapy

by Milton Hayes

There are diverse benefits of sports massage therapy to professional and amateur athletes. The practice can be used to improve pre-event preparation by reducing the muscle recovery time and improving endurance. Stretching and joint manipulation enhances flexibility and consequently, reduces the risk for injury. The methods used in this type of therapy are relaxing so they reduce stress to the mind and body. In addition, massage can be used as part of a physio programme after sports injuries. There are different techniques used in sports massage, and the ideal therapy plan for you will depend on factors such as the type of sport and the end-goal of the programme. Here is a description of the common techniques and their potential benefits in your body.


The exact process in kneading massages can vary, but the technique essentially involves pressing the muscles rhythmically. In most cases, the massage therapist uses the thumbs or palms to knead the flesh. The amount of pressure applied on each group of muscles must vary depending on the purpose of the session and the area of the body. Additionally, the speed and rhythm are specific because the kneading pressure should always be applied intermittently. This is an ideal massage for relieving muscle tension and promoting relaxation of muscles.

Trigger Point Therapy

There are tender points throughout the body and the trigger point therapy takes advantage of them. These sections are basically active centres which experience muscle hyperactivity. For example, muscular knots are considered to be important trigger points in an athlete's body. The therapy technique involves applying pressure on these points in the muscular tissue. This compression relieves acute pain, tension and dysfunction in other linked parts of the body.

Myofascial Release

The myofascia is a layer of flexible connective tissue which covers all the muscles as well as the bones. This structure has high tensile strength and it can be found between the skin and the muscle and bone tissues. The sturdiness and the flexibility of the myofascia can be compromised during physical activities or regular life. For instance, injuries, repetitive strain injury and poor posture can result in the restriction of the fascia. This can cause trauma and muscle tension during athletic activities. Myofascial release is a manual massage technique which involves stretching the myofascia layer. This will restore the flexibility of the muscle and skeletal tissues when the restriction is eliminated.

The outlined techniques are not comprehensive so you should discuss all the options with a therapist before starting a massage programme. For more information on sports massage and related therapies, contact a professional from a clinic like Success Chiropractic.