Sport massage, Deep tissue massage, body massage

What Is The Difference Between Sports Massage And Deep Tissue Massage?

There are many types of massage available, and sometimes it can be a little bit confusing as to which one we should go with. A good masseuse will not damage you in anyway, shape or form, and getting any massage is beneficial for your body. It is just that it may not alleviate the symptoms you are looking to get treated.

The most common source of confusion is between so-called deep tissue massage and sports massage. I will try to give an overview of how they are different, and this way perhaps give a better idea on which one you are looking for, that is to say, which one will treat your symptoms effectively.

While similar strokes are used, these two types of massage usually differ in the amount of force and pressure applied. A sports massage is usually used to help injured or sore muscles, and is thus less forceful, and quite pleasant to feel. A deep tissue massage is not always pleasant, but it is necessary. The deep tissues in your back and neck, for example, can seize up and become rigid and stiff. In order to get to that level of tissue, and effectively coerce the muscle to let go and stop causing pain, a certain amount of pressure needs to be applied, and this is not always a pleasant experience, but the long term effects are well worth it, as a chronic muscle pain can only be alleviated in this manner.


A convenient way to differentiate between sports massage and deep tissue massage is by looking at the aims of each treatment. Sports massage has two types of aims. The first is to alleviate pain and soreness in the muscles by redirecting blood flow to the muscle, to rehabilitate over stimulated, over worked or somehow painful muscles. The second is to boost the performance of your muscles through the use of the same technique. This is why it is called sports massage, as athletes can benefit directly from such a technique.

Deep tissue massage has the aim of unlocking stiffened, cramped, or chronically rigid muscles. Muscles that have been subjected to repetitive activities in a setting where they were forced to repeat the same unhealthy task can leave them contorted into an unnatural angle or shape, with way too much stiffness, or with a number of problems that can cause pain and even damage. Deep tissue massage seeks to work on these problems, “unlocking” the muscles and tendons that may be thus affected, and even realigning them to a more healthy position.

Who Needs What?

Athletes, folks working jobs involving heavy lifting or moving of heavy objects, physical laborers, and everyone else with overexerted muscles will benefit from “just” a sports massage. If your problems are a little bit deeper, a deep tissue massage will be needed. If you have chronic pain you suffer from everyday as a result of a repetitive task, if you do not know for how long you have had a stiff or sore muscle or tendon, a deep tissue massage is what you are going to need. If you are experiencing stiffness or soreness that has not been around for very long, a sports massage will suffice. Sports massage can also be used to prevent problems from occurring, deep tissue massage can only treat existing conditions.