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Sports massage therapy is a specialized type of massage therapy that is tailored to the unique needs of athletes and individuals engaged in physical activity. Unlike traditional massage therapy, which is focused on relaxation and reducing tension, sports massage therapy is designed to promote healing, prevent injury, and enhance athletic performance.

The primary goal of sports massage therapy is to help athletes prevent injuries and enhance their performance. It does this by improving the flexibility and range of motion of the muscles, reducing muscle tension and soreness, and promoting the healing of soft tissue injuries. Sports massage can also help to increase circulation, reduce inflammation, and improve the overall health of the athlete’s body.

Types of sports massages

Sports massage can be administered at different times and in different settings, with four main types of sports massage:

  • Pre-event massage: administered 20-30 minutes before an event, to warm up muscles and increase circulation.
  • Post-event massage: administered after an event, to help with muscle soreness and restore range of motion and circulation.
  • Maintenance massage: administered between events as part of an athlete’s wellness program, targeting strength, flexibility, coordination, posture, stress patterns, scar tissue, and existing injuries.
  • Rehabilitation massage: used to speed healing and ease pain for muscle cramps, tears, bruises, and aches, often combined with proper medical care. Techniques include effleurage, neuromuscular therapy, compression, cross-fiber friction, lymphatic drainage, and trigger point massage.

Sports massage therapists in Calgary

Following are some of the well-known sports massage therapists in Calgary:

1. Ascent Health and Sports Therapy

This clinic lies in the heart of Alberta and it is dedicated to serving its clients through the provision of sports massage therapy. At this clinic, their ultimate goal is to help clients overcome pain and improve their mobility as fast as possible. 

The team of professionals at this clinic is committed to ensuring that clients become stronger and more resilient after every session. In addition to sports massage therapy, they also offer physiotherapy and chiropractic services at their center.

2. Active Sports Therapy

Active Sports Therapy is one of Calgary’s leading sports massage therapy centers. As a sports injury, health, and performance center, they specialize in addressing and preventing joint and soft tissue conditions that arise from physical activity.

Additionally, they offer a range of integrated health services. They have a total of 24 practitioners and have served over 30,000 patients with at most 35,000 visits per year.

3. Motion Focus and Sports Clinic Inc. 

Motion focus and Sports Clinic guides itself according to some principles one of them being a high level of technical expertise. Their approach is patient-centered, meaning that your needs and goals are their top priority.

They work diligently to ensure that your path to recovery is a positive and successful one. Their services include physiotherapy, massage therapy, sports therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, and chiropractor.

4. Therapeutic Hands Massage Clinic:

Therapeutic Hands is a reputable massage clinic located in Calgary. The treatments provided by the clinic are designed to not only induce relaxation but also promote healing and aid in the recovery process. 

At Therapeutic Hands Massage Clinic, clients can receive a variety of massage therapy treatments, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Lymphatic, and Hot Stone. The clinic’s website provides detailed descriptions of each treatment, allowing clients to learn about the procedures and the advantages of these therapies.

5. Why Knot massage and wellness:

Why Knot massage and wellness center is the premier destination for massage therapy and wellness in Calgary. Their team of fully accredited professionals possesses a diverse skill set in various massage techniques, including deep tissue, hot stone, craniosacral, reflexology, and relaxation massage. With over 50 years of combined experience, their team is equipped to provide effective pain relief, comfort, and stress reduction through their massage services.

The wellness clinic in Calgary offers sports massage for those experiencing sports-related injuries or muscle strain. In addition to their massage services, Why Knot provides their clients with comprehensive wellness plans that incorporate advanced massage therapy techniques and prioritize client education.

To make scheduling easier for their clients, Why Knot offers online booking for their massage sessions, which are priced at $105 for a 45-minute session. 

massage therapist
Image Credit: allanmcgavinphysio.com

What to expect during a sports massage therapy session?

During a sports massage therapy session, the therapist will typically begin by assessing the athlete’s needs and goals. They will then use various techniques to work on the areas of the body that require attention, paying close attention to any areas that are particularly tight or sore. The therapist may also use various tools and equipment, such as foam rollers or massage balls, to help release tension in the muscles.

Sports massage therapists typically use a range of techniques during a session, including deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and stretching. These techniques are designed to target specific areas of the body that are commonly affected by athletic activity, such as the legs, shoulders, back, and neck.

Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy

One of the main benefits of sports massage is that it can help athletes achieve their peak performance by enhancing their physical abilities. By improving blood flow and oxygenation to the muscles, sports massage can help to increase flexibility, reduce muscle tension and soreness, and improve range of motion. This can all help an athlete to perform at their best and gain a competitive edge.

In addition to helping athletes perform at their best, sports massage can also help to prevent or reduce the risk of injury. By identifying areas of the body that are prone to injury or are experiencing strain, sports massage therapists can work to release tension and prevent injury from occurring. This can help athletes to stay healthy and avoid downtime due to injury.

Finally, sports massage can also aid in the recovery process after an injury has occurred. By promoting blood flow and reducing inflammation, sports massage can help to speed up the healing process and improve range of motion. It can also help to reduce pain and discomfort, allowing athletes to return to their sport more quickly and safely.


How many sessions of sports massage are essential for fitness?

The frequency of sports massage therapy depends on individual needs and goals. Some athletes may benefit from regular weekly or bi-weekly sessions, while others may only need occasional treatments according to their needs.

Is a sports therapist the same as a sports massage therapist?

A Sports Therapist is a healthcare professional who possesses the expertise, proficiency, and capability to employ principles of sports and exercise to enhance performance, develop preparation strategies, and design injury prevention programs.

On the other hand, a sports massage therapist is a professional who specializes in providing massage therapy specifically for athletes and those involved in sports and exercise.

What should you wear during a sports massage?

Most sports massage therapists recommend wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing or athletic wear. It is also common to receive sports massage therapy while wearing shorts or underwear. It’s common to wear athletic shorts and a tank top. Some women prefer to wear leggings or yoga pants instead of shorts.

Is sports massage therapy painful?

Sports massage therapy can be uncomfortable at times, particularly when targeting areas of tightness or injury. However, the therapist should always work within your comfort level and adjust the pressure as needed.

Overall, sports massage therapy is a valuable tool for athletes who want to improve their performance, recover from injuries, and maintain their physical health and well-being. It can help athletes of all levels stay healthy, active, and competitive in their chosen sport.

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