What is the Difference Between Deep Tissue and Sports Massage?

Do I need Deep Tissue or Sports Massage?

If you are relatively new to receiving massage, you may be unsure whether to choose a sports or a deep tissue massage. Massage therapy generally involves soft tissue manipulation and stimulation; however, should you have specific requirements, you may need to choose between sports or deep tissue to achieve your health goals.

Sports massage and deep tissue massage are two very common forms of therapy which you can find in holistic centres all round Glasgow. These two styles have a lot in common and being able to differentiate between the two can help you to decide on the best option for your treatment needs.

Elaine Wilson Therapies in Glasgow offers a professional deep tissue massage service. Read on to assess your health goals to see if this is the right style for you.

Assess/Prevent Injury Risk

A professional sports massage therapist will be knowledgeable when it comes to treating common injuries and muscular issues in athletes. Examples could be hamstring strains or shin splints. Sports therapists can easily assess where you experience muscle tightness or identify muscle abnormalities that, if left untreated, could run the risk of causing injury.

A professional deep-tissue massage therapist can also identify these areas of muscular tension and weakness, though they may not be trained in assessing sport-specific injury areas. This style can however be used to treat complications such as whiplash or back strain.

Strokes and Movements

Both therapies use similar types of strokes which include kneading, circular movements, tapping and vibrations. Though, Sports massage generally tends to focus on the related areas of discomfort and pain.

Personal Goals

Sports massage is specifically designed to improve sports performance, increase flexibility and deal with injuries or potential injuries. It is more common for someone to simply need a deep tissue massage as this will help reduce toxins in the body, lower stress levels, increase circulation, relieve tension and reduce physical pain. If you have an injury or specific treatment goals, it is advised to discuss them with a GP first to see whether deep tissue or sports massage will aid in your rehabilitation.


Sports massage is generally used by athletes who train most days of the week for a semi-professional or professional sport. They might consider sports massage as a pre- or post-game treatment to reduce the likelihood of injury or muscle cramping. Clients who seek deep-tissue massage are generally more wide-ranging and include people from all walks of life such as students, office workers, teachers or child-minders. These clients tend to have issues which aren’t related to a particular activity and don’t necessarily have an injury. These clients are normally looking for relief from muscular tension and related complaints.

If you live in or around Glasgow and are considering massage therapy read Elaine Wilson Therapies’ 5-star Facebook reviews and book your treatment online today.