Sports Massage is commonly used to:-
- Aid recovery (post event).
- Improve performance.
- Physiologically & psychologically prepare an athlete (pre-event).
- Increase circulation.
- Increase flexibility.
- Increase mobility.
- Reduce the chance of injury.
- Treat tissue adhesions or scar tissue
- Treat myofascial pain
- Treat Sports injuries
Mobile Sports Massage Service
Sports Massage treatment is available as part of TotalMSK's Mobile Musculoskeletal (MSK), Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic Service. The private patient mobile service operates up to 20 miles from Caversham in Reading and Cambridge in Cambridgeshire. TotalMSK also operates mobile Corporate Wellness Clinics throughout Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, and Oxfordshire. Sports Massage involves a blend of Holistic and Swedish massage. Our practitioners tend to use a limited number of techniques from Sports Massage in conjunction with more advanced methods of treatment. Full Sports Massage treatments can be provided and can certainly be provided at charitable events.
Sports Massage Therapy
Sports massage is a more advanced form of massage and includes deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage does not have to be painful and nor should it be. One can often experience some level of discomfort during a treatment, and yet professional therapists will know how to work with the body. Tissues tend not to respond well to brute force, which just hurts and causes bruising. The article on self-massage and foam rolling covers more about why deep tissue massage might prove painful when performed incorrectly.
Sports Massage Techniques
Sports Massage itself consists of four basic techniques:-
Effleurage is used to a large extent during Sports Massage to assess, warm up and relax tissues. It is common to use effleurage at the start and end of a Massage Therapy session too. The remaining Sports Massage techniques each work differently. Training and experience help ensure that the therapist selects the most appropriate method for the desired result. The desired outcome could be a reduction in Myofascial pain, to reduce tension associated with scar tissue or adhesions etc. However, there are other methods of treating Myofascial Pain, such as with Myofascial Dry Needling, Advanced Remedial Massage therapy and even Gua Sha or IASTM. Aspects of Remedial Massage and Gua Sha or IASTM can also work well with Scar Tissue and Adhesions.
Deep tissue massage techniques are usually used to improve muscle suppleness and joint flexibility. One does not have to play sport to find sports massage beneficial. Tissues within the body can change and lose suppleness from day to day life and a sedentary lifestyle. Gravity applies forces to the body on a daily basis, impacting the structure and function of movement. Such factors usually increase the load on tissues and underlying structures, resulting in pain. Such issues are not just about "correct posture". There is very little evidence even to suggest that there is such thing as a "correct posture". Holding any given position for an extended period will have an impact on various aspects of structure and function. The effect may just be increased tension, stiffness, pain, decreased mobility or any combination of these musculoskeletal changes.
Sports Massage Training
Sports Massage training has changed a great deal over the years, and there are various levels of education and qualifications. Historically, one had to have completed a basic Massage Therapy course before being able to undertake the base Level 3 Sports Massage qualification. Today there are training providers running fast-track courses which take a day or even a week for the more advanced levels of qualification. However, many of the professional associations in the field have strict educational requirements governing hours relating to course content, duration and hands-on practical. Hence, there are many qualifications and indeed, practitioners who are not eligible for membership of said associations. As of 2018, the highest (QCF) recognised Sports and Remedial Massage qualification is the BTEC Level 5.
Unlike other Musculoskeletal-related professions Chiropractic, Musculoskeletal Medicine, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy, there is no statutory regulator for massage therapy. There are multiple voluntary associations and even a voluntary regulator for massage therapy, the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Such organisations have registration eligibility requirements covering, standards of practice, rules and regulations, acceptable minimal education, yearly continuing professional development (CPD), insurance, disciplinary processes and in some cases, a current first aid certificate. Such organisations and membership of said bodies help protect the general public and ensure a high level of standards. If a massage therapist is not a member of such a voluntary organisation, then one should ask the question as to why not? There is nothing to stop somebody working as a massage therapist even if they have been through a disciplinary process and banned from registering with one of the bodies mentioned above. In some severe cases, common law may have placed restrictions on an individual and what they can do or how they can work. Hence, it is best to carry out due diligence concerning any practitioner and ensure they are what they say they are.
Pre and Post Event Sports Massage
As the name suggests, sports massage is often used to treat people engaged in sport. It is quite reasonable for sports people to seek various types of soft tissue therapy pre and post event. Many sports people will also find maintenance treatments between training sessions or competitions beneficial. Pre-event sports massage is vigorous, with the aim of warming muscles and underlying structures before the event. Massage performed in this way can have physiological effects and can also produce significant psychological benefits. Athletes can gain performance benefits when sports massage is part of their usual routine. Post-event massage is somewhat different to pre-event massage and has an entirely different aim. Post-event massage is more slow and rhythmic in fashion. Exercise usually creates micro-trauma to tissues, which is part of the natural adaption process (see adaption article). Post-event massage aims to soothe and relax tired soft tissue structures and avoid generating more micro-trauma. Sports Massage techniques are frequently used in conjunction with more Advanced Remedial Massage techniques.
Our principal Chiropractor (Terry) has been treating musculoskeletal-related conditions since 2006 and all walks of life including, children, the elderly, office workers, emergency service personnel, military personnel and both amateur and elite level athletes. Athletes have included, rowers, gymnasts, triathletes, runners, ballet dancers, horse dressage competitors, cross fit competitors, swimmers, cyclists, elite-serving and ex-service military personnel and many other disciplines. He has developed a specific interest in Sports Chiropractic (McTimoney) and the treatment of sports injuries, due to a combination of his previous time within the UK's elite armed services and his additional training in advanced soft-tissue therapies. Soft-tissue therapy and McTimoney Chiropractic technique work exceptionally well together, as each type of treatment has limitations. Furthermore, Terry has signed up for the Sports Massage Association (SMA) Road2Success Athlete Sponsorship Programme. The programme is designed to help our future Olympic Athletes, who currently lack sponsorship or funding. Therapists who have signed up offer special discounted treatment rates to Athletes who meet the eligibility criteria. Please see the Sports Massage Association (SMA) link on the page for further details.
Chiropractic and Massage Registrations
All of our therapist's hold relevant professional industry registrations and or memberships. Our principal Chiropractor Terry Davis MSMA holds additional memberships and registrations for Massage Therapy with the Complementary & Natural Health Council (CHNC) and the Sports Massage Association (SMA). He is also BTEC Level 5 Clinical Sports and Remedial Massage Therapy qualified.