There are a lot of sports massage techniques out there, and it can be confusing to know what you need and when. When should you get a sports massage vs deep tissue massage? Understanding this difference as an athlete is important whether trying to improve performance or avoid injury. It could be the difference between the performance of your life and feeling like straight crap. Then once you know the difference between the two how do you find some that can give a good sports massage vs. deep tissue massage and knows all of the sports massage techniques.
The Different Sports Massage Techniques
- Deep Tissue Massage – Penetration muscles deep with fingers, knuckles and sometimes even elbows to find trigger points and relieve muscles of issues.
- Compression – Often used after deeper massages to help relax the muscle and increase blood flow to promote healing
- Fascial Work – Each muscle is covered and attached to other muscles by an interconnected webbing called fascia. Loosening this fascia allows the muscle to operate optimally
- Cross Fiber – The goal is not to lengthen the muscle, so you go across the fibers instead. Great for muscle groups that are already lengthened.
- Jostling – Is a shaking of the muscle that is intended to promote blood flow, increase recovery and help relax athletes. This technique often occurs before or during competition.
The most popular used by athletes would be sports massage vs deep tissue massage. The other techniques often are fit into to supplement these treatments.
Sports Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage
The reason it is important to know the difference is that both of the massage techniques have very different goals. Sports massage does a much better job in the short term, whereas deep tissue is much better in the long run.
Sports Massage Goal
The goal of sports massage is to prepare you for an upcoming event or competition. The massage therapist will have one goal, and that is to put you in the best position to succeed. If you see a therapist with a hamstring problem and you have a meet in two days, they will do whatever is best to help you be ready for that competition.
Deep Tissue Massage Goal
Deep tissue massage is trying to do something very different than sports massage. The goal is still to promote healing, but deep tissue massage can almost be damaging. When you have an elbow going through your muscle, it is getting stripped and beat up pretty badly. Deep tissue massages require recovery time.
When you get a deep tissue massage, you need to have the time to recover. For some people, an entire week of recovery is needed before they can perform at a high level. You have to remember that you may feel ok, but your nervous system may still be shot from the tough workout.
When to Have a Sports Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage
If you have a big game coming up in a few days, you are going to want to get a sports massage over getting a deep tissue massage. The deep tissue massage will be too risky, and you don’t know if you will recover. Deep tissue massage feels great afterward because are muscles are just dead and blood is rushing to them to help you recover.
The deep tissue massage will promote healing better, and it is much better for issues that have been around for a long time. If you are in your off-season for example, or you have a bye week, that is the perfect time to get a deep tissue massage because your body has nothing but time to recover.
That is not to say that a sports massage will not help you, but the goal is performance. The closer you are to that performance the more of a role that healthcare provider plays in building your confidence. Treatment right before a game is all about making you feel like you have superpowers. That is what separates the good ones from the greats.
How to Find Therapists with Good Sports Massage Techniques
If you have decided that you want to start getting massages, it is essential that you don’t choose any massage therapists. You want to work with someone who understands your needs as an athlete. They will know just when you can handle a sports massage vs deep tissue massage.
Consider These Things On Search For Someone With The Right Sports Massage Techniques
- How long does it take to see them?
- What is their 9INE POINT Rank?
- How long is their treatment?
- Do you get a good vibe from them?
- How well do they communicate?
- Are they on time?
- Do they listen well?
- Do they play sports now?
- Did they ever play sports?
- Do they know different sports massage techniques?
- Do they know your sport well?
None of the above questions are good or bad. What matters more is that you know what matters to you and you find a therapist that thinks those things are important as well. One therapist does not fit for everyone, and it is important you understand.
Regarding finding your best local options once you know what you want, 9INE POINT Health is your stop. 9INE POINT Health will allow you to search for the skills you want in your healthcare providers. You can search for a massage therapist that specializes in sports, deep tissue or both if that is what you need. You can compare therapists based on their 9INE POINT number, their reviews or whatever information matters to you.
9INE POINT Health was created by 9INE POINT in '19 as a means to provide athlete-driven resources to "Protect Athletes' Minds, Body and Belly". As well as be a platform for healthcare providers and other specialists to display their knowledge.