Sports Massage

History of sports massage

The roots of sports massage go right back to the ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire.  Greek athletes routinely used massage before and after competing, and the Romans used it as a treatment for injured gladiators. These techniques were more recently re-discovered by the Russians and East Germans in the 1950s and 60s.  Now, professional athletes and their trainers continue to push the boundaries of human performance and sports massage is an important part of their regime.


Even the average club golfer or Sunday morning footballer can use sports massage to improve their performance and speed up their recovery times.  Massage before physical activity increases the blood flow to the muscles which helps reduce the risk of injury during exercise.  A massage after sport helps to rid the muscles of a build-up of toxins including lactic acid, and reduces the risk of delayed onset muscle soreness.  It also relaxes the athlete and helps them to wind down mentally after the excitement and focus of competition.

Sports Massage can be used to treat:

  • Soft tissue strains, sprains and general tension
  • Post injury / post-operative recovery and rehabilitation
  • Postural issues e.g. poor posture at desk
  • Improving range of movement

It can also be used to help reduce the pain and discomfort cause by a range of conditions including;

  • Sciatic symptoms
  • Back problems, e.g. herniated disc or scoliosis
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Tennis and golfer’s elbow (Tendinitis)
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Plantar fasciitis

Benefits of sports massage therapy

Athletes have reported a range of benefits of massage before and after training and competition, both physical and mental.  These include;

  • Faster recovery from microtrauma to muscles
  • increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Relief from fatigue
  • Reduced Injury healing time
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced muscle tension, cramping, and inflammation post-event
  • Increased sense of well-being
  • Improved sleep

There are no significant risks from sports massage, although some people can have a reaction to the oils and lotions used by therapist.  This is rarely serious and can be easily rectified by changing the products used.