What is Sports Massage?

Sports massage is a deep massage technique that focuses on alleviating soft tissue aches, pains and injuries that can occur through sports and recreational activities. Sports massage is proven to aid recovery of muscle stiffness, improve relaxation and much more.

How Can Sports Massage Help?

Sports Massage for AthletesAthletes put their bodies through an enormous amount of intense stress when working out, playing, training and/or competing. Muscles are constantly put to the test. Sports massage can have many benefits to an athlete’s performance and muscle durability, often preventing injury and improving performance. Sports massage can also have a positive impact on athletes’ psychological and physiological well-being.

Reduces Stress

Whilst sports massage can reduce stress for anyone who suffers chronic tension and tightness, it is particularly useful for athletes. Many sportsmen and women perform on a competitive basis and the stress of competition alone can cause tension. Stress can be greatly reduced by undergoing a series of sports massage treatments. The focus with sports massage is to manipulate the deep layers of muscle and connecting tissue, using deep and slow manipulation techniques to concentrated areas. Sports massage puts you in a state of relaxation that releases endorphins, which then act as mood elevators; this can enhance an athletes’ general sense of well-being and improve their competitive edge.

Improves Circulation

The nature of sports massage is to manipulate the muscle layers using deep slow movements; this increases circulation and helps the blood flow more easily through your body. When your body experiences decreased blood flow it can put pressure on your heart and make you feel fatigue and muscle soreness. Undergoing sports massage can help blood pass more freely and loosens tight muscles allowing oxygen and nutrients to the body’s blood cells.

InjuryFaster Recovery From Injury

Most athletes suffer at some point or another from injury. Muscle injuries can lead to a build up of scar tissue resulting in weakness and loss of flexibility in the affected area. Sports massage works on remodeling the scar tissue to make it more pliable, restoring strength and encouraging faster healing and long lasting repair, thus vastly reducing the chance of re-injury.

Boosts The Immune System

People who exercise on a regular basis, especially athletes who compete and have to work out vigorously, can deplete their bodies of amino acids and other essential nutrients leaving the body vulnerable to illness. Clinical studies have indicated that massage can improve the body’s immune system by increasing the white blood cells called lymphocytes. These white blood cells play a significant part in defending the body from illness and disease.

Alleviates Muscle Tenderness and Improves Power

Because of the constant pressure that athletes put on their bodies, muscles can become tender and tight. When muscles are overworked they become painful and are far more prone to injuries such as pulls and tears. Sports massage works to stretch and loosen muscles and alleviate tenderness and is beneficial both before and after training and competitions. A recent study at McMaster University reported that after intense exercise, undergoing a deep sports massage causes muscles to grow in size and develop new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the power centers of our cells that, amongst other things, convert nutrients into energy.


Many elite athletes believe that sports massage is an essential part of their training and recovery regime. More and more recreational athletes are using sports massage too. If you are an athlete and you are considering sports massage, contact Lilliput Health today. Our qualified Sports Massage Therapists will be glad to answer any questions you may have and discuss a tailored treatment plan for you.


Article written by Mark Avern, specialist Sports Massage Therapist at Lilliput Health.

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