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Sports Massage vs. Deep Tissue Massage

Sports Massage vs. Deep Tissue Massage

Sports Massage vs. Deep Tissue Massage

Massage therapies are growing in popularity with each passing day. Massage therapy helps in effective pain management. Besides rejuvenating the affected part, it also helps prevent injuries. Massages are mostly done using hand movements with the extended use of fingers, elbows, and knuckles. Two of the most popular massage therapies are sports massage and deep tissue massage. First, let us understand the similarities and differences between sports and deep tissue massages.

Sports massage was originally used on athletes; that is why it is called sports massage. However, today anyone with a muscular strain can look at benefiting from this massage. This massage technique combines deep tissue and Swedish massage for the best results. It is a muscle manipulation technique that is customized depending on the area of discomfort and the physical activities or sports you indulge in. This massage therapy is used either as a warm-up or a pre-workout activity in most cases. The end goal is to reduce muscle stiffness, release tension and improve mobility of the part. With massage therapy, blood flow to the affected area is increased. This helps in detoxifying the muscles allowing the flow of oxygenated blood. It is one of the most popularly used massage therapy for sports injuries today.

The pros of sports massage are –

  • Relief from headaches.
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Reduce pain, soreness, stiffness of muscles.
  • Improve the post-injury healing process.
  • Improve muscle mobility and performance
  • Help alleviate stress levels.


As the name indicates, Deep Tissue therapy is massaging the deeper underlying muscle layers and fascia. Even though the technique is similar to Swedish massage, the strokes begin as gentle strokes that slowly increase pressure. The gentle touch initially helps in warming up the muscles. In the later stages, the touch becomes gliding pressure that is carried down to cover the entire length of the muscle fiber and grain. Consequently, chronic muscular tension, cramps, stiffness, and pain start to reduce. Trained therapists need to perform this massage. It is best not to trust amateurs and people with no experience.

The therapist uses fingertips, elbows, and knuckles for faster healing. The pros of deep tissue massage are:

  • Relief from muscular pain and stiffness.
  • Help reduce stress, physical and psychological.
  • Helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Improves mobility
  • Damaged muscles are revitalized.

Is there any difference between sports massage and deep tissue therapy?

Sports massage is applied to the superficial layer. On the other hand, deep tissue therapy is applied to the muscle layers deep below. The latter is mostly carried out on the entire body, whereas the former is carried on a localized area.

Both the massages are massage therapies for sports injuries but can be used even in the case of other kinds of injuries that are not related to sports. It is essential to consult with a practiced and trained therapist for maximum benefit in either case.

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