What to expect during a Sports Massage

What to expect during a Sports Massage

If you’ve never had a Sports Massage before, you’ve probably heard horror stories from family and friends about how painful they are…

Because of this, many people are hesitant to book one (despite being aware of the many benefits).

If you’re wondering if Sports Massage should be painful, check out my previous post on this:


Now that we’ve cleared that up, for those still concerned, here is what you can expect from a Sports Massage treatment:

Firstly, every single person will have a different experience. From the initial consultation and assessment to the techniques used and the outcomes.

Your experience will be based on your reason for getting a massage… however the majority of people who require massage to release muscular tension will essentially just require a Deep Tissue Massage.

For a Deep Tissue Massage, the techniques used will be similar to the sort of massage you would receive in a spa but with a firmer pressure and more attention paid to those knots and niggles (rather than skimming past them) – this part may be uncomfortable but shouldn’t be painful.

If those ‘knots and niggles’ are causing referred pain, there is a good chance that ‘Trigger Point Therapy’ will be used. Now this is the painful part… Trigger Point Therapy is where pressure is applied to an adhesion until you reach a pain level of around 7/10. The pressure is maintained for a certain duration and the pain level will begin to decrease.

Yes this technique is painful at the time but clients often feel instant relief afterwards. If you are not getting a massage for specific pain or injury, it’s unlikely you will receive Trigger Point Therapy.

If you have excessively tight muscles, you will likely be treated with some ‘Soft Tissue Release’. This is another technique that some clients find painful but in all honesty it is more uncomfortable than painful. You’ve probably seen videos or photos of Sports Massage Therapists with an elbow in their client’s glute, moving their leg from side to side. This is Soft Tissue Release and essentially involves ‘pinning’ the muscle down and moving through the nearest joint’s ROM.  

There are plenty of other techniques and tools that may be used during a Sports Massage, however the above covers what you are likely to experience/have heard others have experienced.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the less often you have a Sports Massage, the more ‘painful’ and uncomfortable you are likely to find it – especially if you exercise intensely or have just started a new exercise routine.  

On a personal note, I always aim to work within the client’s pain threshold. If a client is particularly sensitive or nervous I am unlikely to go straight in with Trigger Point Therapy and scare them off for life!

If you are based in Norwich and want to book a Sports Massage but have concerns, get in touch for a chat.       


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