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Why Sports Massage at Plym Physio Is For Everyone

With our new Sports Massage Therapist Ashley on board, as well as our long-standing Therapist Charlotte, the team at Plym Physio thought it was time to dispel the myth that this type of massage is only for athletes, because it isn’t. Although called ‘Sports’ Massage, it is in fact beneficial for all. We asked our Therapy team to answer some questions so that our readers could see why this is the only massage technique on offer at Plym Physio:

Why is it called Sports Massage if it isn’t only for athletes?
The term ‘massage’ brings visions of a soothing, candle-lit spa room, a warm blanket, the soft scents of intertwined aromatherapy oils swirling in the wake of a soft-handed masseuse, whose gentle, light, kneading glides you into a dream-like state of nirvana. You arise from your slumber a mere shadow of your tense past-self, slurring your way through the thank you’s and settling limply into a cosy chair while you regain your awareness….

And then you do.

Life, and calendars, appointments, to do’s and chores hit you as quickly as they left. You tense, ready to become a real-life person again. To get up and go. And that relaxing massage remains a wonderful memory of a moment of peace and tranquility. But… that neck you slept on funny last night is still niggling. The shoulder that is sore from sitting at your desk for 8 hours a day still hurts. Your back pain hasn’t vanished along with the scent of patchouli and ylang ylang.

However, had you had a Sports Massage, you may not achieve a state of nirvana, but you would leave a ‘new’ person in the physical sense. The Sports Massage is a technique that will stretch and work out those muscular aches and pains, that will delve down deeply into the tissues that have you kneading and pressing in a desperate attempt for relief.

We live busy, stressful and active lives before we even add in ‘sports’. Muscle aches and pains are caused from many things; driving, our working environment, household chores, even our own posture. And this is what a sports massage is for. It is a Physical Massage.


Will it hurt?
The number one question people ask. The answer is, well, yes, but only to a point. Sports massage techniques work deeply into the muscles meaning that more pressure is applied gradually, and, at certain points during the massage, most people will feel some discomfort. Your massage therapist will communicate with you during the massage to keep the soreness or pain within your comfort range. Ultimately, it’s not there to relax you, it’s there to help you. It can hurt depending on how much tension or injured tissue in your body there is to work on. Many describe it as a ‘good pain’, or a pain that comes with a large amount of gain! It can feel similar to the after-effects of working out, or exercising, and if this is the case once this wears off you can be left feeling better than before.

Are there any side-effects?
Muscles aches or fatigue: naturally, your muscles are going to feel some soreness after the massage, since this penetrates the uppermost layers of the muscle. Muscles will then feel relaxed also potentially causing fatigue and muscles aches.

Redness or heat: since this type of massage is intent on applying pressure, the result of this rubbing can cause such effects. The feeling of heat can actually be a good sign showing muscle reacting positively to the treatment and beginning to heal itself.

How often do I need it?
It very much depends on the reason why you are having the massage, whether it is for an acute injury, a chronic problem, or just for relaxation. If you have a particular issue or injury then once a week is recommended until the beneficial effects are holding, then the sessions can begin to be spread out more. If you are wanting to be kept in good shape with your muscle and tissue health then a maintenance schedule is all you need which is once every 4-6 weeks. If you are training specifically for an event then you might need multiple sessions a week leading up to the event.

What does it actually do?
Sports massage works deep into the muscles, re-aligning the muscle fibres and connective tissue that get tangled, or ‘knotted’, and helps to break down scar tissue as well.  It also aids in the desensitisation of your nervous system in terms of pain signals in your body. It helps your muscles recover more quickly after exercise and combat tension in the body by alleviating this from your soft tissue, fascia and sheaths surrounding your muscles, and creates a greater flow of blood and oxygen into areas that need it, which in turn carries more nutrients to your muscles and flushes out waste products more efficiently. Regular sessions will increase joint mobility and flexibility reducing the risk of injury during exercise.

Does it have any psychological benefit like the traditional massage?
Sports massage releases endorphins which help with the relief of stress, and this type of massage has a longer lasting effect than traditional massage. It is also beneficial for reducing anxiety and energising the body and mind.

The vigorous massage will have an effect on your sympathetic nervous system (the ‘fight or flight’ system), increasing the production of adrenaline and endorphins in the body, stimulating and soothing the nerves while traditional massage does not generally engage this response. It also engages the parasympathetic nervous system (the ‘rest and digest’ system), releasing tension within the tissues, slowing the breathing rate and reducing blood pressure, causing the client to feel more relaxed and less stressed and anxious, in the same way as the traditional massage technique.

In essence, Sports Massage produces a long-lasting and balanced physical and mental state.

Do I need Physiotherapy or Sports Massage Therapy for my muscular pain?
This isn’t a question that can be easily answered either way. If you have been experiencing long-standing, chronic symptoms/pain or issues then you really need to look at the reasons why, which would be the role of the Physiotherapist. The benefit of offering both Physiotherapy and Sports Massage at Plym Physio is that there can be communication between your therapists and we can put together an holistic approach using both Physio and massage and these can be progressed in conjunction with each other.


If you would like to try this increasingly popular massage technique (and the only massage technique we offer at our clinic in Plympton) then call us on 01752 656340 or email to book a session.


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