Say “sports massage” and most people picture elite athletes being nursed back to health, or being pushed to optimal performance. But sports massage is for anyone with chronic pain or restricted motion: it not only speeds recovery but also helps prevent injuries to your muscles and tendons. Nevertheless, we tend to categorize sports massage in four types: treatments for Pre-event, Post-event, Restorative and Rehabilitative. The differences are:
- ‘Pre-event’ offers a 15 – 45 minute massage before exertion. Attention focuses on whichever parts of the body are likely to take the most strain
- ‘Post-event’ follows exertion and returns your body’s tissue to normal. It usually takes place within a couple of hours after an event
- ‘Restorative’ massage allows athletes to train harder and reduces the chances of injury
- ‘Rehabilitative’ speeds recovery; it tends to be the sports massage people think of!
In all sports massage, treatment tends to focus on a specific area. It’s not to be confused with a Full-Body or Deep-Tissue Massage.