NO! – Clinical Sports Therapy is not Sports Massage, nor is it Sports Massage Therapy, although massage plays a vital role in Clinical Sports Therapy.
According to The Society of Sports Therapists , it is: “an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability.”
For most of us that definition may not make it any clearer and you may still be a little confused, as Clinical Sports Therapists we understand that. Here is my, hopefully simpler and easy to understand, explanation.
Understanding Sports Massage
The easiest way for me to explain why Sports Therapy is NOT the same as Sports Massage, or Sports Massage Therapy, is to first explain what Sports Massage actually is! So, Sports Massage is a deep tissue massage using manual therapy skills relating to the soft tissues of the body – including muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons – and encompasses scientific knowledge to help in the prevention of injury and performance improvement.
The big question…..What is the Difference?
Clinical Sports Therapy builds on all the practices of Sports Massage by utilising a greater amount of functional anatomy, physiology and pathology to prepare and/or treat a person for training, competition, or work. We undertake postural assessments as well as joint assessments. As a Sports Therapist, I use advanced soft tissue and manual therapy techniques – such as soft tissue mobilisation and release – orthopaedic assessments, biomechanics, thermal therapy and taping ( to name but a few, the list is long ) to optimise your performance, preparation and prevention of injury.
We’re trained to provide immediate care of injuries as well as assess, treat and rehabilitate them by implementing rehab programmes consisting of manual therapy along with strength and conditioning work. In short, I aim to incorporate exercise-based rehab (when needed) with hands-on treatment like joint mobilisations, myofascial release and sports massage depending on your needs .