Massage not only promotes relaxation and calmness of the mind, but it also acts as therapy for the body by releasing tightness and improving mobility. Understanding the difference between the deep tissue massage and the sports massage can help you determine the best service for your needs.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage focuses on full-body relaxation by applying more pressure on the deepest layers of tissue and muscles. The techniques of this massage relieve small, newer areas of tension in the muscle tissue and break up adhesions in the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding your bones, muscles, and joints.)
Patients prefer deep tissue massage for its many benefits:
- Muscle relaxation
- Reduced chronic pain
- Lower stress levels
- Decreased tension in the upper back, shoulders, and neck
- Relief from lower back pain
Sports massage caters to athletic patients of all types, including professional, collegiate and high-school level players – and even people who exercise regularly. By evaluating your posture, the physical demands of your particular sport and past sports injuries, your massage therapist can concentrate on the areas of your body that are overworked or stress from aggressive and repetitive movements.
Sports massage uses deep tissue and stretching techniques on the muscle-tendon junctions to provide certain advantages to athletes:
- Pre-game warm-ups and post-game cooldowns
- Healing and preventing injuries
- Improving flexibility
- Quicker recovery time between games
Deep Tissue Versus Sports Massage
For many people, these two massages seem very similar, but depending on your lifestyle, you may benefit from one more than the other.
Unlike the deep tissue massage, the sports massage mainly focuses on the areas most vulnerable to injury or stress as well as older and larger areas of built-up tension. For example, runners may need more work on their legs, while baseball pitchers may benefit from a shoulder and arm focus.
With the deep tissue massage, you receive full-body therapy to relieve new areas of pain in your muscles and tissues.
However, both massages apply deep pressure, which may cause slight discomfort.
Choosing the Right Service
If you’re deciding between these two services, then there are a few questions to ask your therapist that may help you choose the best option:
- I used to play sports, but I haven’t in years. Which massage is best for relieving the tightness I still have from my time playing?
- Can I get a deep tissue massage that concentrates on one area, or do I have to get a sports massage for targeted areas?
- I experienced whiplash recently, should I get a sports massage to heal the injury, or am I better suited for a deep tissue?
Regular massage therapy and chiropractic care can help heal and repair sore and tired muscles and lower your likelihood of general muscle strains and sprains. Your massage therapist will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you determine the best treatment options for your specific issues.