Is There a Difference Between Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage?

General Body Maintenance

There’s nothing as rejuvenating and refreshing as a massage—whether you’re an athlete that needs to recover from physical exertion, or you just want to loosen the knots in your neck and shoulders from working at your desk all day.

While the objective remains the same, to provide relief to muscles, a sports massage and a deep tissue massage are not synonymous.

Yes, there are several types of massages, each with distinct therapeutic benefits. Since most people cannot distinguish between the different kinds of massages and their benefits, we’re here to help!

What is a Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massages—usually associated with spas—are meant to treat musculoskeletal aches and pains. It works by relaxing the body and mind and treating muscle stiffness and joint pain.

Sustained pressure and deep strokes used in this type of massage help target deep layers of muscles and connective tissues. So expect your therapist to knead and press the muscles to alleviate soreness and fatigue all over the body. Most therapists will use two common techniques—stripping and friction. In the first, therapists will apply gliding pressure in the direction of the length of muscle fibers. In the second, deep pressure is applied across the muscle grain. Both movements help get rid of tight knots and encourage blood flow.

Deep tissue massages are not specialized—they simply help ease general discomfort that arises from fatigued muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage in Singapore are often associated with Spas

What is a Sports Massage?

A sports massage targets isolated areas of the body, aids in the recovery from physical strain, and helps treat acute and chronic injuries. Athletes and other sportspersons have been known to turn to sports massages to boost their performance as well. Even fitness beginners or amateur athletes can meet their health and sports goals with the support of a massage therapy plan.

Sports Performance
Sports massage can help with athletic performance by quicken recovery time and improving range of motion

As such, a sports massage therapist requires study and training in sports and athletic performance and be intimately familiar with kinesiology and the human anatomy. To deliver a therapeutic session that helps improve conditioning and encourage recovery, a sports massage therapist will also require training in sports and rehabilitation therapy.

Human Anatomy
A good sports massage therapist should understand human anatomy and explain how each muscle affect one's body movements

The benefits of a sports massage extend to better flexibility and blood circulation, lower the probability of an injury, eliminate toxins, and accelerates recovery. It also helps relieve pain in muscles and joints and alleviates swelling and jarring.

The focus of a sports massage is to concentrate on healing previously sustained injuries and working on the muscles to avoid further damages as well.

Increasing the Effectiveness of Sports Massages With IASTM

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) treatment techniques include scraping and specially designed devices that mobilize scar tissue and myofascial adhesions.IASTM has several benefits and incomparable therapeutic advantages, which is why they give outstanding results when paired with sports massages.

T Tool narrow bevel
The T-tool is one of the IASTM tools that is used in Aylwin Sports Therapy. Image Credit: T-tool

IASTM Benefits:

●      Facilitates faster, more effective rehabilitation/recovery

●      Reduces scar tissue and pain

●      Improves range of motion and strength

●      Reduces inflammation without anti-inflammatory medication

●      Resolves chronic pain

Sports massages that include IASTM help with complete recovery for athletes, irrespective of the kind of injury sustained.

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