How to Relieve Sports Injuries with Massage Therapy

If your client is an athlete, they are at  risk of sustaining a sports injury. Training and competing in just about any type of sport, can trigger an injury, as the body is put through a lot of stress. Athletes do their best to prevent sports injuries from occurring, but when it happens, you can relieve sports injuries with massage therapy

Massage therapy’s ability to relieve pain caused by an injury has led to a significant increase in its popularity, especially amongst professional athletes. The massage therapy treatments that have proven to be popular amongst clients (and most advantageous for you to include in your repertoire) include:

  1. Counter Torque Twisting

Counter Torque Twisting realigns the large muscle groups of limbs such as quadriceps and biceps or the muscle groups surrounding the joint such as the knee or elbow. You will perform this massage technique by applying medium pressure to take hold of the part of a limb that is below and above the injury. Next, you will move each hand in the opposite direction from the other around the axis of the knee or elbow joint.


  1. Cross Fiber Friction

By massaging the muscle fibers, the tension in the joints dissipates and it decreases the scar tissue. You will apply firm to medium pressure with your fingertips or thumbs at the location of the injury, moving them in a back and forth or circular motion. This technique may leave your client with some soreness or inflammation around the area. Therefore, immediate icing, directly after the massage, is required.


  1. Deep Tissue

In order to target the deep tissue of the muscle, you will use your elbows or forearms to apply firm pressure. When applying this technique, you will need to take extra care not to press down the tissue into the bones, as it can result in extreme bruising. The motion of the forearms or elbows needs to be perpendicular to the bone.


  1. Myofascial Release

Fascia is defined as a thin and broad sheaths of connective tissue found around the muscles, organs, and bones. A sports injury can restrict your client’s ROM or range of movement, and this technique works to correct it. Myofascial release uses the thumb, knuckle, and finger to press the areas of the bone and muscle, using light pressure to feel for hardened areas inside the tissue.


  1. Directional Massage

During directional massage, you will apply pressure to the muscles. However, in order for directional massage to work, the injury needs to be tended to 24 to 48 hours after the injury. You will place your thumbs or fingers perpendicular to the area of the injury. After you make contact with the tissue, you will use a short and one-inch deep stroke to thrust the muscle towards insertion.


  1. Hot Stone

The stones need to reach the temperature of 120 to 130 degrees to penetrate heat inside the muscles. This technique treats hypertension, manages pain, and loosens muscles. This technique will let you access the deeper layers of the tissue more quickly than any other technique.

You will put the stones in motion or carefully places them on specific locations of the body. Again, this technique is not advised for people that suffer from diabetes, take blood thinners, are pregnant, and experience hot flashes.


  1. Petrissage

This technique improves blood flow, relives muscle tension, and loosens muscles. It aids the lymphatic system to remove wastes from the body as well. You will knead the body with your hand or from between your thumbs and fingers. If your client has cuts or bruising in the area, you might need to change the method of kneading. The technique lifts up the muscle from the bone, squeezes it, and then releases it gradually.


  1. Trigger Point Therapy

You will need to apply pressure by holding the area of the injured muscle, until it starts to twitch. You will apply even more pressure, until the pain reaches to seven to eight. If the injured area is too sensitive for this technique, you should not use the trigger point therapy.


Using these massage techniques to target the affected area will help heal your clients in the event of a sports injury.  Of course prevention is key!  Regular massages can keep your client on the field and at the top of their game!  Do you have athlete clients?  What modalities and techniques do you use to relieve sports injuries for your clients?