Does Bupa Cover Sports Massage?

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Sports massage is becoming more and more popular in the UK, but not all insurance providers offer the option to cover it with your healthcare package.

If you’re looking into sports massage for treating aches and pains related to exercise or sport, keep reading to learn about what Bupa covers, and how you can access this treatment if you don’t already have it in your insurance policy. Here are 8 things you should know about sports massage and Bupa insurance coverage.

Does Bupa Cover Sports Massage? While it’s true that many insurance providers will pay for things like massage therapy to help manage chronic pain, unfortunately, Bupa doesn’t offer that coverage.

But let’s look at how you can work around it because even if you do have one of those insurance providers that covers massage therapy, there are still a few caveats to consider.

For example, did you know some insurers require pre-authorization before they cover your session? In other words, they want proof your doctor believes in the treatment before they agree to cover it. And then there’s reimbursement—which is where your provider decides on a set amount of money for each treatment and pays for 80 percent of that.

2) Is sports massage covered by private health funds?

This is a difficult question to answer in short because different health funds cover different treatments. The two most common types of private health insurance are HMOs (health maintenance organisations) and PPOs (preferred provider organisations).

PPOs will cover many things but not necessarily sports massage. It’s a good idea to check your fund’s policy for any treatment before booking or making an appointment.

It’s also worth asking if your fund covers alternative therapies like massage, or whether you’ll need to pay out of pocket for such treatments. This is important because massages tend to be expensive compared with appointments with medical doctors, pharmacists or physiotherapists. It can also be difficult to find a doctor who provides it, especially if you’re covered by an HMO.

3) What types of injuries does sports massage help with?

Some practices require therapists to be members of professional bodies such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) or Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). If a therapist is not a member, they are likely to be self-employed.

So before you make an appointment, find out how many years’ experience they have and ask for their qualifications.

You should also ask about insurance cover in case anything goes wrong during treatment. When choosing your massage therapist, it’s always worth asking friends or colleagues if they have any recommendations.

4) How do I find a good sports massage therapist near me?

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth checking Groupon to see if there are any discounts offered in your area. There are plenty of other ways to find good sports massage therapists near you as well—through friends, colleagues, your doctor or even social media.

Whatever method you choose, make sure to do your research and ensure that your therapist is properly certified through nationally recognized certifying bodies like AMTA or ISSA.

For example, AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) requires its practitioners to complete at least 500 hours of training at an accredited college or university before they can take their certification exam.

5) What if I want to book my own appointment?

A majority of sports massage therapists are self-employed, meaning you’ll have to arrange for your own appointments.

So if you want to book your own appointment, make sure that you’re going to be clear about that before you commit to a particular therapist (e.g., I want a deep tissue sports massage; do you take self-booked appointments?).

That way, there won’t be any unpleasant surprises or awkward moments if it turns out that your chosen therapist isn’t used to handling things in quite that way.

On the flip side, if they say no but have any availability at all during your preferred time range, they might be willing to work with you on other dates/times. In which case: ask!

6) What should I expect from my first appointment with a sports massage therapist in Perth?

First of all, you should expect a free consultation. Your therapist should ask lots of questions about your lifestyle and ask to see your medical records. The reason they do that is because some conditions could be contraindicated with massage.

A physical therapist needs to know if you have cancer, heart disease or diabetes, for example. If you are over 35 years old, she may want to know if you have osteoporosis or arthritis as well.

If your therapist has any doubts about your suitability for sports massage, she will refer you back to your GP for clearance. But if everything checks out okay, then it’s time to roll up those sleeves! (Really? Do I have to?) Yes!

7) Cost savings when getting insurance cover

When deciding on your policy, it’s important to remember that you’re looking for a long-term commitment, not just a quick fix. Sure, massage may help relieve some of your immediate pain and tension in the short term, but you might need some other types of therapy as well.

So talk to your doctor about whether massage is right for you. If so, discuss your options with an insurance specialist. Then sit back and enjoy! And be sure to come back here if there’s anything else bugging you about sports massage coverage or if I can help answer any other questions you have about policies in general.

8) When should I call my doctor about a sports injury?

If you’re new to exercise, have a pre-existing condition or are generally not fit, it’s highly recommended that you consult your doctor before engaging in any form of physical activity. In fact, we recommend that everyone see their doctor for a pre-activity health check up at least once a year.

While many people simply think of sports massage as an effective recovery treatment after an injury or strenuous workout, some conditions require specific treatments.

Your doctor will be able to tell you if your injuries are serious enough for professional help or if over-the-counter painkillers will suffice. It’s also important to talk with your physician about how often is too often when it comes to treatment.

Final Word

There are many reasons you might seek out a sports massage. It can be an important way to keep up with your training even if you’re not necessarily injured.

Even those who exercise regularly need to give their bodies time to recover between workouts, especially as they grow more intense or get more frequent.

If you’re considering purchasing Bupa insurance in order to get access to sports massage services, then it’s crucial that you learn everything there is to know about what is covered and what isn’t.

Is Sports Massage Physiotherapy?


Lynn has been writing at our blog for over two years. She currently writes about topics such as sleep, massage therapy, and cooking. Recently, she has teamed up with other bloggers to write about their life stories. Lynn is also a certified massage therapist who loves to express herself through cooking recipes she finds on Pinterest or food blogs. Lynn's blog is an outlet where she can share her passions with others while encouraging them to live the best version of themselves.

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