The intensity of sporting competition means that athletes look for dramatic ways to give themselves a competitive edge, but often what they require is less about being stronger and more about being able to recover faster.

This means that a lot of athletes rely on sports massage, chiropractic and other forms of physical therapy to help them be at the best level they can possibly be for competition.

Whilst massage has been used to help athletes as far back as the Ancient Olympics, its first modern usage with a scientific basis comes thanks to Pehr Henrik Ling, credited as the founder of the Swedish massage that is still the most common form of massage you see today.

There are a lot of ways in which massage is used to help treat athletes, but they can generally be grouped into one of four categories.

Acute Care

Massage can be used to help treat initial injuries by manipulating soft tissues and providing a therapeutic effect, either in the immediate aftermath in the case of minor injuries or once it is prudent to do so in other cases.

Primary Treatment

After the first few days, deep tissue massage can be a primary treatment option to handle certain types of injuries such as twisted ankles, sprains, tennis elbow, hamstring injuries and other muscle sprains and strains.


The primary use of massage is as part of a group of treatments that can help encourage recovery and rehabilitation, and it is effective in a few ways towards this end.

The most obvious is how deep tissue massage encourages the repair of muscles and ligaments, but another aspect is in pain management.

Massages can help athletes to feel more comfortable with their bodies and start to work through the psychological elements of their injury that might stop them from performing at their absolute best.


The vast majority of muscle injuries come from tightness, overuse and weakness, and massage can help reduce all three of these elements.

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