Zeel massage customers seeking relief from back pain, neck pain, knee pain and all the other kinds of discomfort that go with being alive often ask us which massage therapy technique is best. There is particular confusion over whether a deep tissue massage or a sports massage is the best massage for muscle pain.
It’s true that deep tissue massage and sports massage share some similarities. Both target muscular issues. Therapists performing a deep tissue massage or a sports massage will stretch the tissue covering muscles as well as knead and press the muscle itself, aiming to break up knots and stress. (Swedish massage is a less targeted massage aimed at overall bodily stress issues.)
A deep tissue massage is great if you have specific muscle knots or pains that you wish to ease. For example, if you’re a classic desk employee with bad posture, you likely suffer from low back pain and a stiff neck. A deep tissue massage is a great treatment for these pain issues.
The focus of a sports massage is different from a deep tissue massage, though some of the massage techniques are similar. A sports massage concentrates on either healing a previous activity-caused injury or preventing an injury. The areas of focus will differ depending on activity – a runner, for example, might get a sports massage that focuses on the legs and knee joints, while a weightlifter might get a sports massage that focuses on the upper back and arms.
Sports massage can also be used to improve athletic performance and overall physical function. The stretching enhances flexibility and circulation, not only making the body perform better, but also reducing chances of injury.
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.