There are a range of therapies and treatments that are complemented by sports massage.
These therapies include:
– Chiropractic treatment
– Occupational therapy
– Physical therapy
– Other complementary and natural therapies (e.g. aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, yoga therapy, naturopathy, reflexology).
Examples of treatments complemented by sports massage include:
– Acute injury treatment (e.g. the PRICE protocol, first aid treatment and medical interventions).
– Chronic injury treatment (given by more qualified sports therapists, sports massage professionals or medical professionals).
– Complementary therapy treatments (e.g. aromatherapy massage and reflexology treatments).
– Maintenance and developmental fitness programmes.
When working with medical professionals, an SMT may be required to provide general massage to a patient once they have completed their initial curative treatment. Medical professionals (including physiotherapists) will only tend to provide treatment up to the point that the specific injury has recovered and the patient has passed the acute stage.
They will not review a client holistically to look at other potential (e.g. dysfunction in other areas of the body) or continue to treat them long term. Sports massage can continue to break down adhesions and develop flexibility and mobility in soft tissues so that a client continues to improve and potentially avoids recurrence of a previously suffered injury.
Sports massage can complement other therapies and treatments by offering a way to develop a treatment package for a specific individual. For example, an aromatherapist may be seeing a client who is about to take part in a competitive triathlon. An SMT could provide the pre and post event massages to complement their usual therapies. They could also support the strength and conditioning coach who is developing a fitness programme to ensure the client is capable of performing well in their triathlon. Finally, the SMT could provide maintenance massages, massages after training and identify any signs of dysfunction which can be reduced using a combination of massage and fitness therapies.