Massage is as therapeutic as it is relaxing. There is nothing quite like laying back and allowing your tense muscles to be worked into a totally stress-free state. But with so many different massage choices out there, how do you know which one to go for?
Every massage technique is unique, targeting areas of your body that need to be worked on depending on your circumstances. But not all massages are suitable for everyone, so it’s important you are able to make an informed choice before booking yourself in for a massage.
Two of the most popular massage techniques available are sports massage and remedial massage. But what is the difference between them and how do you know which is right for you?
What Is Sports Massage?
Used for both preventative and restorative purposes, sports massage utilises free-flowing movements to help circulate blood flow, flush the muscles and loosen tight or injured areas. It’s the ideal massage-type for anybody involved in any sport, not just professionals, and is just as vital ahead of a game as it is afterwards. A pre-match sports massage will focus on ‘flushing’ the muscles, which means warming up the tissue to ensure good blood supply and optimal performance.
A similar technique is used after the sporting event but aims to flush out the toxins accumulated during exertion, assisting in muscle recovery and injury prevention. The fast-paced rhythms used in sports massage aim to improve fluid flow throughout the body, removing waste products such as lactic and uric acid and encouraging blood flow to damaged areas in need of remedying.
What Is Remedial Massage?
Also known as ‘medical massage’, remedial massage is a therapeutic massage technique that aims to relieve muscle tension and treat chronic pain. The pain does not have to be sports-related, but can be caused by anything. Anyone suffering from chronic pain can benefit from a targeted remedial massage involving deep tissue pressure. The massage is also ideal for anyone with a medical problem due to its therapeutic nature.
If you suffer from chronic pain or stress and tightness in your muscles, your massage therapist will perform a complete examination to determine what particular muscles are causing you pain then follow it up with various remedial massage techniques depending on the type/location of the pain.
Should You Choose Sports or Remedial Massage?
Whether you opt for sports or remedial massage depends on what you are looking for.
If the following points apply to you, you may find it more beneficial to select a sports massage:
- You train regularly
- You engage in repetitive movements (such as those involved in tennis or squash) which may contribute to range of motion limitations
- You want to avoid sporting injuries
- You have had sporting injuries in the past
- You find it hard to relax after a workout or sporting activity
- You need help with stretching before a sporting activity
- You prefer rapid, warming massage strokes
If the next set of points apply to you, you may find it better to select remedial massage:
- You have generalised aches and pains caused by daily activities
- You have chronic pain
- You feel depressed or low about your aches and pains
- You have a specific trigger point for pain that needs addressing with deep tissue massage
- You have tense muscles that cannot be relieved on your own
When to get a sports massage
You can either get a pre-workout sports massage of a post-workout sports massage. We recommend both!
A pre-workout sports massage helps you prepare your body before engaging in any exerting activity. If you have a major upcoming sports event or if you regularly visit the gym for an intense workout, getting a pre-workout sports massage will help prepare the muscles. Doing this will also reduce the possibility of getting a sporting injury. Research also shows that pre-workout massage can help reduce blood pressure and increase flexibility, allowing you to move and perform better.
A post-workout sports massage is ideal for recovery. Your muscles undergo a lot of strain when pushed to their limits. A sports recovery massage promotes rest and speeds up healing time. Massage will also help remove waste products and help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness which often makes your muscles painful and reduces the range of motion. If you have a sporting injury, a post-workout massage will help promote healing and recovery while helping your muscles relax after the major stress.
When to get a remedial massage
Remedial massage is rehabilitative and restorative, and thus appropriate for when you have aches, chronic pains, knots or just about any discomfort emanating from your muscles or soft tissues. Unlike sports massage, this massaging technique utilizes deep tissue techniques to target problem areas caused by any activity.
With remedial massage, your therapist will identify the pain point, and proceed to use a specific, pressured massaging technique. You may find that one session is enough to combat the majority of your pain. Or, if you suffer with more complex or chronic pain, you may find that remedial massage is a therapy best accessed on a regular basis.
If you are unsure which massage you should get or want to speak to us about your aches and pains, you can contact us on 1300 420 188 and talk to one of our qualified and friendly experts.
If you feel certain that you want either a sports or remedial massage, or any other massage on our website, you can fill out this quick and easy booking form. We bring the best professional massage to your home. For more information on how we work, click here to read our frequently asked questions.