Sports massage uses a variety of pressure (often deeper, more intense and focused than in conventional massage) to speed up an athlete's recovery time, help with muscle soreness and injury prevention.
Many athletes believe that a complete training programme should include not just the exercise itself, but also regular massage.
Because each sport uses the muscle groups in different ways, a qualified sports massage therapist or physio will have a sound knowledge of the muscular and skeletal systems, and tailor the treatment for each individual athlete. Sports massage is often supplemented by other massage therapy styles, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, trigger point (myotherapy), shiatsu, acupressure, compression, cross-fibre and lymphatic massage.
Sports massage therapy can also read the body to see if there are any areas where the soft tissue or muscle is weaker, and help strengthen it to prevent it from breaking down.
Some people even believe that sports massage can provide that extra 'edge' to competitive athletes, getting the body into shape faster and reducing recovery time after heavy workouts.