Differences between soft tissue therapy and sports massage

With a wide range of different massage therapy options to choose from, it can be difficult to know exactly which treatment option is the best option for you. Soft tissue therapy and sports massage are two highly popular options for improving health and promoting recovery. But what are the differences between soft tissue therapy and sports massage? And which option should you choose?

What is soft tissue therapy?

Let’s start with soft tissue therapy. This is a highly effective and popular option that offers a thorough and comprehensive approach to treating soft tissue injuries and problems. By using a range of manual therapy techniques, including stretching, massage, and joint mobilisations, this therapy can successfully address any musculoskeletal problems, pain and imbalances. Experienced practitioners like us here at Core Holistic can access and treat a variety of concerns and conditions that can affect muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

What is sports massage?

So what is sports massage? Well this is a specific type of massage therapy that is designed to promote and enhance athletic performance, preventing future injuries and facilitating recovery. This often combines deep tissue massage with Swedish massage and specific stretching techniques that are relevant for different sports and training practices. These techniques can help to address a wide range of issues, including muscle tightness, inflammation, adhesions, and problems caused by muscular overuse or strain.

What are the differences between soft tissue therapy and sports massage?

There are a number of differences between soft tissue therapy and sports massage, including:

  • The primary focus 
  • Techniques 

The primary focus 

One of the biggest differences between soft tissue therapy and sports massage is that these two therapy options were developed to target specific demographics. 

Soft tissue therapy is a massage option that is inclusive to all individuals, of varying ages and activity levels. This is an effective treatment that can help to manage chronic pain or postural issues, and can help to manage a wide range of conditions, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and repetitive strain injuries.

Sports massage, on the other hand, is a treatment option that was initially developed for athletes, or people who are very physically active. As such, this treatment option is focused on improving performance, preventing injury and promoting recovery between athletic activity. As a result, this tends to have a more focused, outcome based approach when compared to soft tissue therapy, which will often be used to manage long term conditions. However, sports massage is becoming increasingly popular for stressed office workers who suffer from shoulder tension and back pain, from long hours working at a desk. This has widened the target audience for sports massage in recent years.

Techniques used

Not only do these two treatments differ in terms of the target audience, they also use different approaches and techniques to manipulate the muscles. Both of these approaches can improve circulation, promote tissue healing, and reduce muscle tension. However, this will be achieved through the use of different methods.

Sports massage therapy is a treatment option that often focuses on deep tissue work and focuses on the specific muscle groups that are relevant and important to certain sports and activities. This may also involve stretching exercises to increase flexibility and improve the range of motion.

On the other hand, soft tissue therapy has a more holistic approach, addressing not only isolated muscle groups but also the many surrounding tissues and joint structures that may contribute to pain and dysfunction. Techniques such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy are commonly used to release adhesions, restore mobility, and alleviate pain throughout the body.

If you’re looking for soft tissue therapy or sports massage in Preston, we are the team for you, here at Core Holistic. We have the skills and expertise to deliver exceptional healing results. Why not get in touch today?