Shop 5/453 Fullarton Road,
Highgate Adelaide,
SA 5063

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Friday: 7am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8am - 1pm

Sports Massage Therapy

Sports massage is a more vigorous form of massage than other types and focuses on promoting recovery and return to training and play in the shortest time frame possible. It is a highly effective way to increase flexibility, reduce post-exercise muscle soreness, and help you return to training or playing with less discomfort. 

Athletes in Australia often receive sports massage as part of their training, performance optimization, injury prevention, and recovery routines. Sports massage is valued for its ability to address the specific needs and demands of athletes, helping them maintain peak physical condition and enhance their athletic performance.

With around 5.2 million Australians being injured each year in sports, sports massage is a very popular way to help manage pain and return to sport quickly.

What can sports massage help with?

Sports massage is a specialized form of massage therapy that focuses on addressing the specific needs of athletes and individuals engaged in sports or physical activities. 

It includes various remedial techniques and approaches to help optimize athletic performance, prevent injuries, aid recovery and assist the rehabilitation process.

When having a regular sports massage, receiving regular treatments can help optimize your performance by preparing the body for intense physical activity. It can improve flexibility, increase range of motion, and enhance muscle readiness, allowing athletes to perform at their best. 

It’s worth noting that while sports massage is commonly sought after by athletes, it is not exclusive to them. Individuals engaged in regular physical activities, fitness enthusiasts, and those recovering from injuries can also benefit from sports massage

There are several benefits, including:

  • Assist in injury rehab: Sports massage can play a crucial role in the rehabilitation process for athletes recovering from sports-related injuries. It helps restore normal tissue function, improves circulation, reduces scar tissue formation, and accelerates healing by increasing nutrient supply to the affected areas.
  • Muscle recovery and soreness reduction: Intense physical activities often lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. Sports massage aids in the removal of metabolic waste products, such as lactic acid, which contribute to post-exercise muscle soreness. 
  • Increased joint flexibility and mobility: Addressing muscular tightness and restrictions helps athletes achieve optimal range of motion, reducing the risk of joint-related injuries.
  • Improve blood flow and boost the lymphatic system: Massages can aid in the removal of metabolic waste products, delivering vital nutrients and oxygen while speeding up the recovery process. It can also reduce swelling and enhance tissue oxygenation, thereby promoting faster recovery.
  • Stress relief and relaxation: Sports massage can help athletes relax, alleviate tension, and reduce anxiety. It stimulates the release of endorphins, promoting a sense of well-being and improving the overall mental state.
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Sports massage has wide-ranging benefits for active people

When should I get a sports massage?

The timing and frequency of regular massage sessions will depend on your individual needs, training schedule, and goals. Here are some instances when you might consider getting a sports massage:

  • Pre-event: If you have an upcoming competition, a sports massage a day or two before the event can help prepare your muscles, improve performance and reduce muscle tension.
  • Post-event: After participating in a sporting event or engaging in intense physical activity, it can help alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and promote faster healing.
  • Maintenance: Regular sports massages can be part of your training routine, even during periods of lower activity. It can help prevent injuries, promote overall muscle health, and address any minor imbalances or tightness that may arise.
  • Injury rehabilitation: If you’ve sustained a sports-related injury, regular massage sessions can be beneficial during the rehabilitation phase. It can help reduce scar tissue formation, increase range of motion, improve circulation, and accelerate the healing process.

What can I expect from my treatment?

Sports massage works by applying targeted techniques and manipulations to the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. These techniques are designed to address the specific needs of athletes and individuals. Here’s what you can expect: 

The treatment will start with a consultation to discuss your needs, goals and expectations, followed by a full assessment to evaluate your posture, range of motion, muscle imbalances, or areas of tension. This assessment helps them identify specific areas that may require attention during the massage.

The firmness of a sports massage can vary depending on factors such as your individual preference, the therapist’s approach, and your specific needs. In general, sports massage can range from gentle and relaxing to deep and intense, depending on the condition being addressed and your personal preference.

A range of techniques will be applied, such as Trigger point Therapy, Stretching and Range of Motion Exercises, Myofascial Release, Soft Tissue Mobilization and Deep Tissue massage. 

Throughout the massage, it’s important to communicate with your sports massage therapist regarding the pressure, comfort level, and any areas that need more attention or caution. This helps ensure that the treatment is effective and tailored to your preferences.

The massages can vary from 30 to 90 minutes, according to your preference.

At the end, the therapist may provide you with post-treatment recommendations, such as stretches, self-care techniques, or tips for managing any discomfort or soreness. They will also suggest a treatment plan for ongoing sessions.

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Trigger point therapy is regularly incorporated into a sports massage

What do I wear during the massage?

Ultimately, the choice of clothing during a sports massage is a personal preference but should allow ease of access to the areas you’d like worked on. 

You can choose to wear undergarments that you feel comfortable in, such as underwear, sports bras, and comfortable loose shorts. If you are concerned, talk to your therapist beforehand if you have any questions about what to wear. 

Why choose Thrive Physio Plus for sports massage therapy?

Choosing Thrive for sports massage therapy ensures you’re getting treatment from an experienced massage therapist. Our massage therapist, Mariana, is a member of the ‘Australian Association of Massage Therapists‘, has worked in the industry for over ten years and is an expert in sports massage, ensuring personalised and high-quality treatment tailored specifically to your needs. 

Located conveniently in Highgate on Fullarton Road, accessibility is easy, with ample free parking at the rear of the premises. 

A sports massage with us means you’ll experience faster recovery, injury prevention, enhanced performance, and reduced stress. 

Which conditions and clients do we service?

We proudly serve the entire Unley Council area and beyond, from weekend warriors to professional athletes and everyone in between. Our clinic is deeply ingrained in the local sports community, supporting various local sports teams, local gyms and athletes. 

Common sports injuries seen at our clinic include:

  • Sprains and muscle strains: These are prevalent among athletes involved in high-impact sports such as basketball, soccer, and football.
  • Spinal pain, including back and neck pain, is common in all activities and sports.
  • Overuse Injuries: Due to repetitive motions, runners and cyclists often experience overuse injuries, such as tendinopathies and IT band syndrome.
  • Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow: Common among individuals who engage in repetitive arm and hand movements.
  • Shoulder Injuries: Athletes involved in overhead sports like swimming, volleyball, and tennis are prone to shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff pain syndrome.
  • Knee Injuries: ACL tears, meniscus injuries, and patellar tendonitis are frequently seen in athletes participating in sports that involve pivoting and jumping, like football and soccer.

We regularly address these sporting injuries in the clinic and provide effective treatment plans tailored to each individual’s needs. Whether you’re recovering from an acute injury or looking to prevent future ones, our team is dedicated to helping you achieve your athletic goals and maintain peak performance.

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Spinal pain such as low back pain is a condition regularly treated with regular massage

What’s the difference between sports massage and remedial massage?

Sports massage and typical remedial tissue massage share similarities but differ in focus and technique. While both aim to alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation, sports massage targets individuals involved in athletic activities, focusing on enhancing performance, preventing injuries, and aiding recovery. 

It involves specific techniques such as deep tissue massage, stretching, and trigger point therapy to address muscle imbalances, increase flexibility, and improve circulation. In contrast, typical remedial tissue massage is more generalised, aiming to treat musculoskeletal issues and alleviate pain in the general population. It may involve softer strokes and gentle pressure to release tension and improve overall well-being. 

Ultimately, sports massage is tailored to the unique needs of athletes, emphasising optimal performance and injury prevention. In contrast, remedial tissue massage caters to a broader audience seeking relief from everyday discomfort.

Book your sports massage with us today

To ensure you feel your best on and off the field or gym, book a visit to see our expert massage therapist, Mariana, at the clinic today.

You can book online by clicking the button below. Or, you can speak to one of our friendly team members at the clinic on 8490 0777 or email us at

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