• Matthew Anstey MCSP HCPC

Sports Massage: an explanation of this fast-growing treatment option.



Sports massage is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of injury and exercise recovery treatments, and it’s easy to see why.

For many muscular issues, a simple 30 minute sports massage session can help to restore balance back to a muscle group after a particularly vigorous workout, or when recovering from injury. It can keep biomechanics in a better condition, help prevent injuries, and improve mobility, performance and extend the years one is able to play sport by keeping muscular tissue supple. If you regularly feel stiff, fatigued or have muscle/joint pain after a workout, it may be worth experiencing the benefits of sports massage for yourself:


Physiological effects include:

Improved blood flow- Tight muscles can prevent blood from reaching all areas within a muscle, which increases inefficiency and can cause slower healing times. Sports massage on damaged muscles or areas of tightness help pump the blood into these regions, perfusing the muscles and getting the blood flowing as it should again.

Increased permeability of muscular tissue- Deep sports massage encourages permeable membranes within tissue to open, allowing more nutrients to pass through. Waste products like lactic acid and Co2 can then more efficiently pass out to be extracted from the body, again improving efficiency.

Break down scar tissue- Scar tissue build ups are as a result of previous injuries or trauma. Sports massage can help break down these potentially painful spots in the muscles. It also encourages improved movement patterns in the muscles and therefore encourages the body’s natural process of scar tissue removal.

Increased stretching- When we stretch a muscle, normally we stretch down the same direction the muscle contracts. Sports massage can add a different direction and dimension onto the stretch, as well as providing a stretch onto the fibrous fascia that surrounds each muscle. This can help improve range of movement in a muscle, and give quite noticeable improvements very quickly in mobility around a joint.


Pain reduction- sports massage can help flush the toxins out of the body that cause the ache in the muscles. Professional footballers, and persons participating in frequent high stress sport regularly uses sports massage to speed up their recovery from training and matches. It also increases the release of endorphins, the body’s natural ‘happy hormone’ helping to block out pain and improve mood.

Relaxation- Sports massage increases blood flow to the muscles, causing vaso-dilation within the blood supply. This increases heat and circulation which in turn improves the mobility of the muscles. It also helps switch of the inhibitors within muscles that keeps the muscles tissue tight, thus enabling greater range of movement and improved length of muscle.

Psychological effects include:

Invigoration- Many people use sports massage simply because it gives them an energy boost. Increased blood flow, increased endorphin levels, improved muscular function and range of movement all feel great. When you’re feeling a bit lethargic or fatigued, sports massage can be a great way to get things moving again!

Reduced anxiety- because of the relaxation effects mentioned above, sports massage can often have many positive effects for the mind like reduced stress, anxiety and tension.

All our sports massage is done by our Chartered Physiotherapists, Matthew Anstey or James Lee. For more information, or to book a session as see the many benefits for yourself, contact info@azzurrotraining.com, or call 07597 151 809


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