Sports Massage, Sports Therapy, or Physiotherapy? Which Do I Need?
Posted on 27th September 2021 at 14:20
Over the last couple of years, people have been more focused on their health and wellbeing.
When people speak to us to try to find the right therapist to fix their problem, they often ask the question about which therapy would be the best for them. The three varying disciplines of therapy (as well as some obvious others) work well together but are commonly offered as separate forms of therapy with different routes of recovery. To help us understand the disciplines let’s first look at the similarities and differences between them.
Sports Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy
Sports massage or soft tissue therapy (the more modern term used) is performed by a Sports Massage Therapist (SMT) or a Soft Tissue Therapist (STT). Their primary focus is the muscle and other soft tissue such as: fascia (connective tissues), tendons, and ligaments, with their primary aim of easing tension and restoring muscles to their optimal function.
Physiotherapy (the more commonly known discipline) is performed by physiotherapists who work on a much broader scale of issues and are commonly more medically trained to deal with such a wide range of issues. They treat injury, illness, or disability through movement and exercises, manual therapy, education, and advice. They help people maintain health at all ages, helping their patients to manage pain and prevent disease. The physiotherapy profession helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to stay in work while helping them remain independent for as long as possible..
Sports Therapy is the lesser-known discipline of the three and is a newer therapy. The discipline was created and designed to incorporate both the use of some massage/ soft tissue therapies and physiotherapy to be more focused around the sports world. As the industry and discipline evolved naturally, it became obvious that the use of sports therapy, that’s to say the combination of some physiotherapy knowledge and some soft tissue-based knowledge, was applicable for many cases, including those outside the sporting world.
Choosing a Treatment - What Do You Need to Know?
The answer isn’t as simple. As each discipline has evolved, there has naturally been much cross over in knowledge; hence the development of the sports therapy discipline. The best place to start is thinking about the problem you have.
If you have muscle tightness and are feeling quite restricted, then it’s most likely you need to see a sports massage therapist. They will be able to assess and treat the tightness and restore the muscle quality.
Soft Tissue Injury
If the issue is more complex, you have had sudden injury to the soft tissue (ligament, tendon, muscle) then a sports therapist would not only be able to ease the pain but also rebuild the strength so you can heal and become stronger than ever once fixed.
If the issue is more medically focused, e.g., an illness, respiratory, skeletal, cardiac, neural, etc. Then the best person to see would be a physiotherapist.
Combining All Three
Of course, this is all circumstantial. However, the best thing you can do is find a location which can provide you with all three. This way you can have a team around you who can apply all methods of treatment to enable a full and comprehensive rehabilitation journey. This ensures nothing is missed or overlooked.
Why Choose Fire & Earth?
Here at Fire & Earth Leamington Spa, we’re one of few treatment centres in the area which can provide all three disciplines delivered by an expert field of professionals, in addition to strength and conditioning coaches who will help you stay injury-free as you return to whatever it is you want to do, whether that be a pain-free, high-quality life, or competitive sport.
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