Sports massage therapy uses a variety of techniques to manipulate your joints and soft tissue to improve your body’s overall health. Massage increases the body’s supply of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which help release waste from the muscle tissue. Massage also accelerates your body's own natural ability to heal itself.
Sports Massage by Physiotherapists
We offer deep soft tissue sports massage from a background of physiotherapy, meaning we have a deep knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and work with this knowledge to achieve the most relaxing and effective experience.
Deep Soft Tissue Sports Massage
Our sports massage offers deep soft tissue application, meaning we apply firm pressure to achieve the best results. This type of massage pressure allows blood flow to circulate to the desired area much quicker, promoting healing and relaxation.
What is sports massage?
Sports Therapy UK defines sports massage as:
“...a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person engaged in regular physical activity”.
It differs from a regular massage in the sense that it is targeting specific muscles that are used in your specific or desired exercise/sporting activity.
Therefore, sports massage does include common massage techniques however the treatment is much more tailored and specific to your personal needs, helping you return to the exercise or sport you love most.
How does it help?
Sports massage involves identifying areas of muscle tightness and muscular imbalances or abnormalities that could potentially lead to injury, and proceeds by utilising massage techniques to release the muscle tightness or imbalances, resulting in less pain, increased range of movement and improved performance in your given sport.
Science of Sports assessed the available scientific research on the effects of sports massage and found:
“Massage may improve skin and muscle temperature, localised blood flow, and the release of serotonin, though these effects may be small and short-lived. On the other hand, massage may not affect blood lactate removal or reduce cortisol concentrations.
Massage may reduce passive muscle stiffness and increase joint range of motion. Though there is no evidence regarding its effects on active muscle stiffness.
Massage may increase parasympathetic modulation and decrease neuromuscular excitability.
Massage may reduce the perceptions of pain by promoting serotonin and dopamine concentrations, but realistically its effects on pain are far from understood.
Massage may reduce anxiety and increase the state of relaxation, potentially due to its influence on parasympathetic activity”.
Who would benefit from a sports massage?
Anyone who has engaged in sports and feels they have long term or recent tightness/pain in a specific muscle or muscle groups.
Sports massage does involve common massage techniques, so anyone of any age and any background with an annoying ‘niggle’ or muscular discomfort of non-serious nature may benefit significantly.
How many appointments might I need?
We usually see our sports massage client’s once per month on a regular basis. However there is no required or ‘normal’ number of sessions you will need.
This is because sports massage is usually taken as a form of ‘maintenance’ wellbeing service, focusing on maintaining good muscular condition for a given sport.
We suggest therefore it’s taken as an investment in one’s health for the long term, helping you enjoy your chosen sport for many years to come.
How much does it cost to have a sports massage at Tavistock Clinic?
Please refer to our current Price List.
How do I book a sports massage?
You can ask any further questions you may have and book your appointment by calling 0740072592.
Or you can book online at: https://online.tm2app.com/tavistockclinic
Who are your therapists and who will perform the massage?
At Tavistock Clinic we are proud that the sports massage service in our Crawley clinic is offered by qualified and registered Physiotherapists, who have an extensive knowledge of the anatomy and function of the body.
Will I need a separate consultation meeting before my first massage appointment?
No. When you attend your first sports massage appointment, a short medical history will be taken, and details of your goals and requirements are confirmed. Then you will receive a sports massage for the duration requested (multiple packages available).
Are there any reasons I could not have a massage?
SportsInjuryClinic.net writes extensively about contraindications (reasons you should not have) a massage:
“Open wounds - Any cuts, lacerations or grazes. Obvious really, but it has to be said. You should wait until the scar has properly formed. This is usually between one and two weeks.
Muscle ruptures - In the acute stage, these may still be bleeding. Massage will increase bleeding and tissue damage and prolong recovery. After the initial 48 to 72 hours, massage may be possible but it will depend on the extent of the injury.
Tendon ruptures - The above also applies to tendon injuries. Complete ruptures will need surgery, not massage.
Muscle and tendon partial tears - Massage may be suitable after a minimum period of 48 hours, longer for more serious injuries.
Contusions - These are impact injuries causing bleeding within the muscle. Massage to a contusion too soon after the injury may cause further damage and may lead to Myositis Ossificans (bone growth within the muscle).
Burns, Chilblains and Broken bones - Massaging all of these will hurt and cause damage. Don't do it.
Periostitis - This is inflammation of the sheath that surrounds the bone. Massage directly to the bone may cause irritation. You may be able to massage the surrounding muscles but stay well clear of the bone.
Rheumatoid arthritis and gout - These are inflammatory conditions. The same rules apply here as to acute injuries. Massage may cause further inflammation.
Bursitis - Inflammation to a bursa. A bursa is a small sack of fluid that helps tendons pass over bones at joints. If there is a pain, swelling and redness over the skin then massage should be avoided.
Myositis ossificans - A bad contusion or muscle rupture may begin to calcify (grow bone). Massage will make the damage worse.
Infections of the skin and soft tissue - Bacterial infections, viral infections, and fungal infections can be spread to other areas of the body by the therapist. Pain may also result from the infection, not an injury so massage will not help.
Thrombosis - This is a rare but potentially lethal blood clot in a vein. It is common in the calf muscle area. A deep, sore pain in the belly of the muscle may be a thrombosis. If this is massaged, it may dislodge, travel up the veins and damage the heart.
Artificial blood vessels - Artificial blood vessels which are implanted through surgery should be avoided.
Bleeding disorders such as haemophilia - Massage may cause damage to tissues and result in bleeding.
Tumors - If you are unsure of any lumps and bumps in the muscle or skin then leave well alone. Most often these lumps are muscle spasms or fatty tissue. An experienced therapist can usually tell.
Absolutely anything else you are not sure of! - Massage should only be done by qualified therapists and the writers of this site accept no responsibility for injury resulting from actions not under their direct supervision or control!”
Other than these specific cases, you should be entirely safe to have a sports massage.
If you have any further questions feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.