What Is The Difference Between Sports Massage And Deep Tissue?

Woman Lying on Bed Covering Her Face With Her Hand

If you’re in the market for a massage, you may have noticed that there are several different varieties available at many spas and salons, each with its own unique set of benefits.

While it can be tempting to visit every spa on your list in hopes of finding the perfect treatment, keep in mind that different types of massages suit different needs.

If you’re looking to address specific aches and pains, such as sore muscles or tension headaches, deep tissue massage may be best suited to meet your needs, while sports massage may be right for athletes looking to help their body recover after strenuous activity.

Deep tissue massage

This massage style is used to treat chronic muscle tension, such as that caused by repetitive stress injuries and postural problems. The therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes to apply pressure to deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue in order to stretch and relax them.

Since tension builds up in these deeper layers of muscle over time, deep tissue massage can help break up adhesions (bands of hardened muscle fibers or scar tissue) that have formed between muscles as a result of injury or overuse, as well as release toxins from injured tissues.

It also helps reduce pain by relaxing contracted areas through direct pressure on tender spots and trigger points; it may even make you feel hot, flushed or queasy due to its intensity—these are all good signs that your pain is being released!

Myofascial release

In brief, myofascial release is a form of self-taught massage therapy that can alleviate aches and pains as well as increase mobility for muscle groups by stretching bands of connective tissue known as fascia.

Whether or not you’re an athlete, myofascial release can be extremely beneficial for anyone who struggles with chronic pain and stiffness in their joints, muscles and tendons.

The best way to describe myofascial release is that it helps unlock your body’s natural ability to stretch itself beyond what you may have thought was possible before experiencing it yourself.

Research shows that regular massage therapy can improve circulation, relieve stress on skeletal structures, enhance athletic performance and recovery time from injuries or fatigue — plus boost brain power!

General sports massage

The kind of massage you’d get before or after a big game to help you recover from muscle soreness and injury, for example, is a type of general sports massage.

If you’ve ever had a deep tissue massage or felt sore after a strenuous workout session, you know that sometimes rubbing muscles in repetitive motions helps ease pain and discomfort.

The more superficial types of sports massages help relieve muscle tension, swelling and soft tissue injuries by getting blood circulating through your muscles again (which also helps remove lactic acid).

In some cases, too much lactic acid can lead to further muscle stiffness and soreness; reducing these levels may make it easier for your body to recover during intense exercise sessions—this is why some athletes opt for hot tub massages.

Active isolated stretching (AIS)

AIS is a variation of stretching that targets an individual muscle or muscle group and aims to provide a greater range of motion than passive stretches.

AIS uses proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) techniques to turn on muscles and lengthen them in combination with active movements or exercises that may or may not stretch or stress the muscles depending on their position in exercise sequences, as well as sport, occupational, and life activities.

Because of its effectiveness at improving flexibility without overstretching muscles, AIS has gained popularity among many athletes who are looking for less-invasive alternatives to stretching in order to avoid injury while still increasing flexibility and enhancing performance.

Trigger point therapy

Sports massage is a great compliment to general relaxation massage for active, fitness-minded people. That said, it’s not always the best choice for people with physical injuries or serious muscle tension and pain (that’s where deep tissue massages come in).

Trigger point therapy is essentially a targeted form of deep tissue work that is focused on very specific areas of muscle tension and/or injury with light to medium pressure (as opposed to deep tissue massage, which typically uses firm pressure).

Instead of using long strokes like you would in Swedish massage, trigger point therapists use shorter, more precise strokes.

Ice hockey massage

There are several muscle groups that are overused in ice hockey, including your groin muscles, back muscles and abdominal muscles. For example, research has found that 73 percent of male players and 64 percent of female players develop groin injuries from playing ice hockey.

In addition to soreness and tightness, injuries such as tendinitis or muscle strains can be common for athletes who take part in ice hockey. Ice Hockey Massage is performed on player’s muscles to help prevent such injuries as well as rehabilitate existing ones.

Muay Thai massage

Sports massage is intended to relieve athletic muscle strain and improve overall flexibility, while deep tissue massage focuses on problem areas.

With muay thai massage , you get both in one session! This means that your sports therapist will begin by addressing any common pain points associated with sports injuries—such as shin splints, tendonitis, stress fractures—and then work to increase range of motion and decrease muscle tightness.

It’s ideal for treating an injury or preventing one from getting worse because it combines healing techniques with movement therapy.

No matter how motivated you are to get back on your feet fast, recovery is never a quick fix; muay thai massage helps you achieve it efficiently so that you can get back in action sooner than later!

Mixed martial arts (MMA) massage

MMA massage focuses on large muscle groups, tendons and ligaments; it’s excellent for relieving tension and preventing injuries. The focus is on releasing chronically tight areas (e.g., shoulders) that affect movement and range of motion, which can ultimately result in injury if not addressed.

The goal is to get blood flowing into muscles to increase flexibility and strength, both of which improve overall athletic performance. MMA massage uses a combination of active release technique (ART), dynamic techniques and deep tissue techniques, among others.

Golf/Tennis massages

There are two basic types of massage that help people recover from sports injuries or simply relax their sore muscles after a long day on court or on the course. Golf and tennis players usually prefer a type of massage called sports massage.

This is also referred to as Swedish sports massage, although it isn’t actually a Swedish invention—it was developed in America by an Austrian doctor named Dr. William Fitzgerald in 1958. A golf/tennis massages consists of light, rhythmic strokes intended to reduce stress and improve blood flow to injured muscle tissue.

Final Word

You don’t have to be an athlete to experience the health benefits of a deep tissue massage or sports massage.

Both types of massages provide different benefits, making them both valuable additions to your wellness routine. If you’re curious about either type of massage and want to know more, consider scheduling an appointment with a professional masseuse in your area today!

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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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