Sport massage

Sport massage is derived from a classical massage, however it has its specifics, which makes it different from the classical massage. It depends, whether we have to prepare athletes physically and mentally before the performance or make them relax and accelerate the regeneration after physical activity.

Important role is also played by what type of specific sport activity is the athlete doing. It differs in the order of the applied techniques, for example when the therapist first applies kneading and then spreading.


Preparing massage (conditional):

This type of massage is preparing the athlete for top performance. It is a thorough and general massage, similar to the classical massage, it differs only by the order of the applied techniques. After rubbing, the therapist applies kneading which is subsequently followed by spreading technique, tapping and moving the joints. The goal of the massage is to improve the effect of the physical and psychological endurance. The therapist should especially focus on the parts of the body which are in the specific physical activity burdened the most.

Emergency massage

This type of massage is included after a short warm up before the physical performance, it activates the organism of the athlete to the best possible performance. We focus on the parts of the body which play a crucial role in the activity of the athlete. If the athlete is in a resting mode, we apply activating massage, if the athlete is impatient or irritated, we perform relaxing massage.

Activating massage uses bigger pressure, the technique is performed faster and in irregular rhythm. In activating massage we use stimulating devices.

Relaxing massage is on the other hand performed slowly, with long techniques and low pressure. We leave out the kneading and tapping techniques. The techniques are smoothly following each other. The goal of the massage is to lower the tension and psychologically calm the athlete.

Relaxing massage - massage after physical performance

This type of massage is used after illness, operation or injury, lowered sense of tiredness and induction of general relaxation after demanding physical activity. It is ideal to warm up before the massage in a sauna or hot shower. Technical side of the relaxing massage does not differ from the preparing massage. It is performed in a slow tempo, and the therapist uses rather softer techniques which affect the surface of the skin. The most important massage technique here is rubbing. Long and slow movements are performed in a centripetal motion. On the edge parts of the body is applied slight pressure and towards the heart it is increased. The kneading is performed gently and similarly as by spreading technique. Hard and strong tapping is left out in this case. Gentle tapping is performed above the massive groups of the muscles (back, buttocks, thighs). By athletes it is performed 30 minutes after the activity. If the tension is high after the physical activity, it can be performed even for longer.

Sport-treatment massage

This type of massage is used after illness, operation or injury in order to shorten the recovery. It induces reconditioning of the body, which the athlete uses for being active in his sport activity. This massage can affect also muscle spasms, pulled tendons and muscles, bruises, smaller joint sprains, etc. During the treatment we use energetic effects of the shock wave (Radial - for the surface parts of the body, Focused - for deep part of the body).

Massages can be derived into procedures of the physical therapy, specifically into mechanotherapy, when we affect the tissues through varying pressure intensity and friction against the skin of the client.


The single techniques that are defined in advanced composition can be split according to what exactly are they affecting. Technique which is considered to affect the surface of the skin is rubbing, which affects only skin and subcutaneous tissues. The deeper layers can be affected by bigger pressure by using spreading technique. It affects muscles, tendons, joints and joint capsules, space between the bones, hands and soles of the feet. Thanks to further techniques - kneading, is focused not only on skin and subcutaneous tissues, but especially on the muscles. Therapist may also use tapping, that is when both hands rhythmically impact the skin of the client in increasing frequency, which relaxes or stimulates the muscle groups. The massage is usually ended by vibrating/shaking technique, which especially affects the muscles. This technique is used according to either increased muscle tension , or lowered tension (relaxing). The direction in which the techniques are performed is also important. By trunk it is performed centripetally - in direction towards the heart and in case of arms, from fingers to the trunk, again towards the heart. Correct performance of the techniques supports the return of the blood towards the blood and outflow of the lymph from the tissues.


Massages are performed in a pleasant and relaxed environment. We perform in advance defined techniques in combination with pressure and friction, which affect the specific parts of the body. Sport massage can be combined with massage with lava stones, which will perfectly warm you up and you will get a perfect relief in the massaged parts. Relaxation is ideal after the massage, and you should avoid bigger physical activity for the rest of the day. Given to the increased cell metabolism after the massage, we at the same time recommend increased intake of fluids which we support by offering you a cup tea or glass of still water according to the wish of the client. Sufficient drinking regime (about 3 liters per day) is necessary for the outflow of the waste substances from the intercellular space and their outflow from the organism.


Massage can achieve healing effect not only in the affected area, but also in organism as a whole. Thanks to the mechanical stimulation of the tissues, the cells and intracellular space release more easily substances, which with the help of the blood stream are spreaded into the whole body and it secures the response of the body. At the same time the nerve receptors and their reaction is being irritated in the subcutaneous tissues. Both of these answers cause increased release of hormones into the bloodstream, and they affect the metabolic changes in every organ.

Cell metabolism

Massage leads to the removal of the surface of the corneous cells of the skin and that relieves the sweat and sebaceous glands. That improves the chemical processes in the cells of the skin, which can be along with the subcutaneous tissues more blood supplied, which increases the circulation of oxygen, nutrients and protective substances, the so called immunoglobulin. Through the lymphatic system there is an outflow of waste substances of the metabolism such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid etc… Into the lymphatic system and subsequently to the venous system.

Peripheral nerves and brain

By affecting the nerve endings in the skin, you can also lower the pain in a specific area alternatively in areas which have a functional relation to the given area. Deeper techniques can during the massage positively affect muscle stiffness (trigger points), adhesions or scar tissues in the joint capsules or tendon sheath. The massage leads not only to affection of the controlling and regulating activity of the brain, but also mentality, which can be relaxed or stimulated.

Accelerated healing

Massage also supports the reabsorption of the inflammatory exudate or swellings. Increased blood supply supports regeneration of the muscles after burden and it improves muscle performance.

Internal organs

Through the reflexive circle the nerve endings in the skin, subcutaneous tissues and muscles and tendons transfer through the mechanical irritation impulses, which can affect the disrupted function of the internal organs in the specific area.


  • Sport - during or after physical activity
  • Regeneration of the organism no matter the type of sport activity
  • Removal of muscle tension and pain for example during stereotypical work and insufficient movement activity
  • Strengthening the immunity system
  • After consultation with doctor it is ideal to split the general massage into two stages


  • Acute cold (coughing, cold, increased body temperature)
  • Infectious illness
  • Inflammatory illness
  • Oncological illness
  • Directly after meal (1 - 2 hours)
  • More serious bleeding conditions (hemophilia, leukemia etc…)
  • Drunkenness, conditions under effect of psychoactive drugs, acute psychosis

Author: Mgr. Iva Bílková, FYZIOklinika fyzioterapie s.r.o., Prague'