Physiotherapy vs Sports Massage Therapy – Do You Know The Difference?

Physiotherapist, Sports Therapist or Sports Massage Therapist – all similar disciplines but what’s the difference?  Who is going to be best placed to help with your injury or ailment? Does it even matter? Here we explain the difference between the grey areas so you can make an informed choice when choosing who can help you reduce pain and start living and playing pain free again.

As Sports Massage Therapists we are often referred to by the public as one, or all, of the above titles.  We like to think  we take the best parts of the above and practise our own progressive treatment style.  But before we talk more about what we do let’s put the disciplines into context.


Physiotherapy is a really big subject.  It is normally what you, the public, associate with your needs when you have an injury, especially if you have had a visit to your GP. Physiotherapy is defined as “The treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise rather than drugs or surgery”

Which is a pretty loose definition.  Physiotherapy has been around the longest and this is why you might associate injury treatment with physio.   Most Physiotherapists are taught an exercise based approach to treatment.  This is widely used in the NHS hence the legendary “here’s a sheet of exercises for you to do at home to help fix yourself”

That said there are many excellent Physiotherapists who are hands on with their treatment and use rehab exercises to compliment a hands on approach.  An approach as Sports Massage Therapists we like to use ourselves.

Sports Massage Therapy

Our discipline Sports Massage Therapy concentrates on the musculoskeletal side of things from the outset.  Our entire qualification focuses on trying to help you with that bit that hurts by using advanced massage skills, heat treatments, advanced injury treatments and advising on stretching programmes.  We are not qualified to diagnose conditions in the same way as a Sports Therapist or Physiotherapist would be.

Sports Therapy

Also concentrates on the musculoskeletal side of things and primarily use massage as a Sports Massage Therapist would but also joint mobilisation as a Physiotherapist would.  Can you see where the confusion comes from now?

The Verdict

As you can see the borders between the disciplines can only be described as grey.  With each discipline overlapping the other one.  If we can concentrate on what we’re doing with our clients and work together and be open to as many ways of helping our clients this can only be a good thing for our industry as a whole. What I love about Sports Massage Therapy is the total “hands on” approach.  Feeling the tissues, checking for discrepancies in the muscles, observing imbalances and using our skills to help make those discomforts/injuries go away.

For us regardless of discipline you choose we want you to find someone you can trust and like and has the knowledge and experience to help you get over your condition.  Personal recommendation is a great way of finding a therapist, we get most of our clients this way.  We highlight our lovely Testimonials on our website.

If you have any questions or would like any more information please Contact us.

Call 01380 739189 to schedule your next massage.

Or schedule online by clicking the “Book an Appointment” tab.

If you’ve found this information useful, feel free to share it by clicking the Facebook and Twitter link(s).



Five Massage Myths Busted

You might think that you know all there is to know about massages – but some myths still seem to hang around, and we’ve probably heard them all.  Here are a few we hear all the time…busted!

Massage Can Spread Cancer

One of the biggest and possibly most enduring myths puts a lot of people off massage that could really benefit from it.  The myth is that having a full body massage can spread cancer because it stimulates your lymphatic system, which produces white blood cells to fight infections.

There is absolutely no evidence that cancer can be spread by massage.  Manipulation tissue in a way a massage therapist does won’t make tumour cells move, and not only is having massage therapy non-harmful to cancer patients, it’s actually good for most of them.

Don’t Get A Massage If You’re Pregnant

Massage is great during pregnancy, and the best thing is that it is perfectly safe in the 2nd and 3rd trimester and can be really beneficial.  having a massage won’t bring on early labour or miscarriage.  Even so, you should always tell your therapist if you are pregnant when you go for your massage so that she can adapt the techniques.  There are some treatments that aren’t recommended during pregnancy, so if you are wanting to book a heat treatment or sports injury treatment, let us know in advance.  Other than that – lie back and enjoy being spoiled.

Massage Therapy Releases Toxins

Massage therapy has many benefits, but although this myth is still repeated – it’s not true.  Massage doesn’t detoxify the body.  True toxins are things like mercury or lead which are dangerous to the body, and massage won’t help you if you need to eliminate any of those!  The truth is, your body is very efficient at filtering most waste products and unwanted substances out of your body using your lymphatic system, and ultimately by your kidneys and liver.

Soreness Is A Sign Of A Good Massage

Soreness is no indication of how good your massage treatment has been.  The amount of discomfort you feel the following day isn’t a badge of honour.  If it’s your first massage (or first in a long time), you’ve had a targeted sports massage or you’re not very active, you might be a little sore after a session, although it’s nothing to worry about.  If you’re used to regular massage therapy you’re unlikely to feel sore afterwards.

You Don’t Need To Drink Water After A Massage

This one is a definite myth! You really do need to drink water after your massage and that’s why we offer it to you.  Drinking water after a massage will keep you hydrated and help prevent you from getting soreness.  Drinking plenty of fluids also helps to get your lymph fluid moving, which is one major plus of a massage.

If you have any questions or would like any more information please Contact us.

Call 01380 739189 to schedule your next massage.

Or schedule online by clicking the “Book an Appointment” tab.

If you’ve found this information useful, feel free to share it by clicking the Facebook and Twitter link(s).

Massage – Don’t Wait Until You Need It!

Are you the type of person who puts off getting a massage?  You think that because nothing actually hurts, you don’t need to worry about it?  Many people think the same way and then end up at a massage clinic with a painful back or injury.

Massage is wonderful if you have an injury or are already in pain, but why wait until there’s something wrong before you take action?  Massage can be part of your preventative therapy, a way to stop aches and pains from developing into something more serious.

Keep On Keeping On…

If you, like most of us, you have to work for a living, looking after your back and your musculoskeletal system will save you and your employer a lot of stress and money in the future.  It’s frightening, but did you know that according to the British Pain Society 2016, a staggering two fifths of the UK population, meaning that around 28 million adults are living with pain that has lasted three months or longer. It has been proved that regular massage can address issues and helps to relieve pain before getting to the stage of having to need medication.

Stress-Busting Massage

Statistically one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety/depression, so you’ll be pleased to hear that regular massage can help you beat the build-up of stress and keep you calmer for longer.  It’s well known that many conditions are either brought on or made worse by stress.  Booking time out for regular massage therapy helps to lower the body’s cortisol levels and increase happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.  On top of this, it’s also thought that because a deep tissue or Swedish massage in particular help to get your lymph fluid moving, this type of massage can help boost your immunity.  This means less coughs, colds and illnesses, which is all good.

Beat The Pain Of Inactivity

I know, most can’t help it, but we know that adults of working age in England average about 9.5 hours per day of sedentary time.  If your job means that you have no choice but to sit at a wheel or a desk, it will pull your shoulders forward and cause them to become rounded.  This has the effect of weakening your upper and lower back muscles, which is why you could be feeling pain in your upper body.

If you can manage to get up and about regularly to do some exercise, and team this with regular massage, your posture will thank you for it and you should reduce any pain you feel from sitting still for so long during working hours.

Have we convinced you to make regular massage part of your regular routine? Of course, it’s not all about preventing illness or relieving pain; having a massage is a comforting and beneficial therapy in itself, and many people book their regular massage therapy sessions just because they know they will leave their massage with a smile on their face, feeling amazing.

If you have any questions or would like any more information please Contact us.

Call 01380 739189 to schedule your next massage.

Or schedule online by clicking the “Book an Appointment” tab.

If you’ve found this information useful, feel free to share it by clicking the Facebook and Twitter link(s) above.

How Often Do You REALLY Need a Massage?

We’re often asked about how often people should get a massage, and it’s a really difficult question to answer properly as there are so many different factors involved.  If you already have a great massage therapist who knows you and your lifestyle, it’s a great idea to have a chat with them to come up with a guide to how often massage would be good for you.

The main things to consider are your overall health, stress levels, whether you’re in any kind of pain and also whether you are a regular exerciser or athlete.  You’ll certainly be able to get the best from your massages if you have them regularly to keep up the benefits.  Massage helps in so many ways; it relaxes you, improves circulation, relieves pain and can even help to manage long term pain conditions like arthritis.

When You’re Stressed

Whether the stress is coming from your everyday work or a life event that’s taking its toll on you, a massage can be really beneficial.  If the stress is long term and ongoing, it figures that your massage therapy should be the same.

If your job involves frequent travel, it’s also a good idea to get a massage more regularly, as this can put a lot of stress on the body on top of the inactivity from driving or flying.  A weekly or bi-weekly massage is ideal if you are really feeling the pressure, because the tension can build up when you’re dealing with stressful situations and before you know it, it can get on top of you.  Just scheduling in that bit of weekly me-time can go a long way towards relaxing you and helping you deal with the things that are stressing you out.

When You’re In Physical Pain

Massage can be a very good pain reliever.  if you are in chronic pain and don’t want to keep taking higher and higher doses of pain medication to try and alleviate it, it an be worth trying a regular course of massage therapy to get on top of the pain and manage it better.

By finding a massage therapist you trust and telling them that you are dealing with a chronic pain condition they can suggest different massage techniques, like deep tissue massage and pressure point massage to try alongside a massage on a regular basis.  For chronic pain, a minimum of weekly massage is recommended – more if the pain is severe, at least to start with.  You can then reduce to weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, depending on how you feel.

When You Exercise A lot

It is important to make sure your muscles and joints are kept in the best possible health when you’re an athlete or do a lot of exercise.  Higher levels of physical activity are great for your fitness, but it can put strain on tissues and joints and leave you prone to injury.  If you’re very active or an athlete you could consider a bi-weekly or monthly massage – even more if you are training for an event.  Every 4-6 weeks is fine if you are not in training.  Massage is a great way to give yourself a competitive advantage, as you can train harder without having to worry about injuring yourself.

In general

If you just want to have a massage for the health benefits but don’t have a medical or physical need, a monthly massage should be all you need to get the benefits of regular massage.  Scheduling a relaxing massage treatment for yourself on a regular basis means that you can build on the effects of each session, whereas if you only have a massage occasionally you have to start again from scratch every time!

Have a chat with your massage therapist if you’re looking for great advice on how many sessions you need – it’s what we’re here for!

If you have any questions or would like any more information please Contact us.

Call 01380 739189 to schedule your next massage.

Or schedule online by clicking the “Book an Appointment” tab.

If you’ve found this information useful, feel free to share it by clicking the Facebook and Twitter link(s).