FAQs About Sports Therapy vs. Physiotherapy vs. Sports Massage

News & Advice

FAQs about Sports Therapy

While Sports Therapy and Physiotherapy share a lot of similarities, there are definitely times when we would be best suited to one or the other. We take a look at the most commonly asked questions between the two.

Call 01282 453 110 to book your appointment.

How does Sports Therapy and Physiotherapy differ?

Both are highly qualified, trained professionals. Sports Therapy can assess, diagnose and rehabilitate musculoskeletal injuries both in and outside of sport.

A Sports Therapist can provide manual therapies, including sports massage and mobilisations and can also aid recovery and prevent injury through patient-specific, exercise-based prescription.

Rehabilitation exercise programs and development are the shining light of skills that a Sports Therapist supplies.

Physiotherapists have a broader medical training. Whilst Physiotherapists cover sports and musculoskeletal injuries and rehab, they also study degenerative conditions, diseases, surgical procedures, respiratory conditions, neurological issues and elderly care.

Physiotherapists include the use of manipulation techniques and specialise in cases such as upper neck issues, any arthritic conditions, headaches and post-surgical rehabilitation.

What is the difference between a Sports Massage and Sports Therapy appointment?

If you have a specific muscle or joint injury, then it is best to book a Sports Therapy assessment, where you will get a full diagnosis and treatment of the injury.

General muscle aches (that are tightness rather than injury), may be best tackled with a Sports Massage appointment.

It may be that in your Sports Therapy appointment, some Sports Massage techniques will be used. If you come in with an injury and the Sports Therapist believes that the injury may be best treated with Sports Massage alone, then future appointments can be changed to suit this.

What is a Sports Massage?

A Sports Massage is a firm, pressured, manual therapy, aimed to release and reduce tension in muscles and soft tissue.

Massage improves circulation and encourages the flow of blood through the muscles, which helps to remove waste products, such as lactic acid, that may be sitting in the tissue and causing pain and/or stiffness.

For this reason, Sports Massage can also be used to help swelling resolve. Different therapeutic techniques will be applied during the massage to help relax the muscles and subsequently, the body. Sports Massage can be used for both injury recovery and also injury prevention.

What is the difference between a ‘Sports Massage’ and a ‘Deep Tissue massage’ ?

A Sports Massage is a deep, pressure massage, so strictly speaking they are very much the same thing. A Sports Massage is more directed to a specific area/injury of the body. A Deep Tissue Massage can be considered more generalised and work all over the body in one session.

My muscles are tight, but I don’t play a sport, can I still have a Sports Massage?

ABSOLUTELY. You do not have to be an athlete or play any sport to have a Sports Massage.

Sports Massage can be beneficial for anyone regardless of their sporting background. It is commonly used in sporting environments, which is where it takes its name, but the reality is, we can get similar injuries from ‘non-sporting’ activities very easily.

People who work behind a computer and have a more sedentary lifestyle have found to benefit from regular Sports Massage. This is for the tension in their neck and shoulders from working long periods of time in one position.

My knee injury is stopping me from playing sport, is Sports Therapy the best service to help?

A Sports Therapy assessment will be beneficial for this. A Sports Therapist can provide a full functional assessment to diagnose the knee pathology and highlight any areas of weakness or biomechanical imbalances.

A Sports Therapist can provide hands-on treatment and tailor an assisted rehabilitation plan which will include progressive exercises.

Further down your rehabilitation plan, exercises prescribed will be sports specific; to aid a smooth transition back to playing the sport you love.

I’ve recently been involved in a road traffic accident and have since been experiencing severe neck pain and dizziness, who do I see?

A Physiotherapist can help with this. They will obtain a full subjective background regarding the accident and past history and will assess your problem.

Physiotherapists can treat the condition using appropriate hands-on therapy, electrotherapy (such as laser or ultrasound therapy), and/or exercise-based rehabilitation to help with your symptoms and pain.

My back aches when I lift weights in the gym, who can help with this?

A Sports Therapist will be best suited for this. They are able to assess your technique and provide tips to correct your form during weight lifting, as this is often the case. This will help prevent you from any further injury whilst also addressing your problem.

If you have any other questions regarding either therapy, you can get in touch with the experts using our FREE online service, here.

Ask A Physio

Spend less time suffering and more time doing what you love. Our Ask A Physio service is a free and confidential service designed to provide you with advice and information on your problem before you book an appointment.

Contact Us