Remedial massage and sports massage. Is there a difference?

Remedial massage: “Remedial” means to provide a remedy or a cure. It is a range of therapeutic techniques used to treat muscles that are knotted, tense, stiff, or damaged.

Sports massage: Sports massage techniques can be used to target common (sports) injuries such as muscular strains and tightness.

In my practice I consider these two massage disciplines as intertwined.

If you strain a shoulder muscle at the gym or strain your shoulder whilst making a sudden movement to start the electric lawnmower, my approach to how I treat you will be the same.

Sports and remedial massage help correct problems and imbalances in soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) which has been caused due to strenuous and repetitive activity – it can be sport related but not necessarily so – think about occupational stress and demands – overuse, lack of use, constant repetition (think of RSI for office workers) You don’t have to have a sporting injury to receive a sports massage.

Before a sports/remedial massage session begins, I discuss with you your expectations from the massage, ask about the particular area which is causing discomfort/pain, your ROM (Range Of Movement) and I will then tailor my massage to your wishes within the amount of time you have booked. To be sure there is no mis-communication I summarise what body parts I will massage during the treatment session.

A remedial/sports massage does not necessarily have to be deep and to get results it has to be painful is not true.  If an area feels tight and tender and you are able to relax and breathe through it (“sweet pain”), that is fine – however if you are tensing up and fighting the discomfort this can be counterproductive – please, speak up and tell me if this is the case and of course, if I sense it whilst massaging I will always ask you about the pressure – two-way communication in this scenario is the key.

At the end of the session, we check to see if your ROM has improved and I give you a couple of simple stretching exercises to help. To fully address and see further improvement, a series of follow-up sessions is strongly advised.

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