Sports Massage vs. Deep Tissue Massage

When you go to a massage spa you will find that it offers a variety of different massages. Choosing from all of these types can be difficult if you do not know what a particular massage type aims to achieve.

Therefore, knowing a bit about the different types will prove to be helpful and can help you get the massage that your body deserves.

The variety of massages available can be overwhelming. Due to this, we have listed the two main types of massages for you: sports and deep tissue.

Although there aren’t many differences between these two types, when you learn about what they each do, you will see that they both have different purposes.

Deep Tissue Massage

As the name suggests, the primary purpose of this massage is to help relax the tissues deep inside your body.

When you get a deep tissue massage the knots in your body will loosen, and if you feel pain anywhere it will eventually vanish.

This massage can also help you to get rid of pains and aches that are persistent, such as lower or upper back aches.

Sports Massage

If you are an athlete then this type of massage is best suited for you. Its primary purpose is to help with the muscle injuries that many athletes suffer from (like foot pain for example).

It will help to relax all of the injured tissues and reduce the pain in the affected muscles.

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There aren’t many differences between the type of strokes each massage therapist uses for a deep tissue or sports massage. The only difference that you will find is that the sports massage will focus on injury-related muscles.

The main types of movements that will be used for both massages are:

  • Circular movements

  • Kneading

  • Vibrations

  • Tapping


The massage therapist will work to use force that is suitable for your body, so you will be asked by them whether the pressure they are applying is comfortable or not.

However, because the deep tissue massage aims to hit the muscles located deep in the body, the pressure used will be a bit more than the one used for a sports massage.

Objectives of the Two Types of Massages

A sports massage is all about treating and preventing injuries that athletes can suffer from. These include increasing and boosting the performance and flexibility of athletes. This is the main reason that this massage is usually sought by them.

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On the other hand, anyone can benefit from a deep tissue massage. There are many reasons why someone might want this type of massage. A person might want to get it to reduce the number of toxins in their body while someone else might need it to help relieve stress build-up and assist in improving circulation.

Another reason that someone might get a deep tissue massage is to help reduce long-term or persistent pain. This pain can be in the legs, back, or any other area of the body. Many doctors even recommend this type of massage to help people regain their strength and boost their health.

Types of Clients

A deep tissue massage can be experienced by anyone. Unlike a sports massage, it’s not necessary that you be involved in activities for a deep tissue massage to be done. This massage can even be used as a luxury treatment.

As far as a sports massage is concerned, the main clients will be athletes. Some might get this massage done before an event so that it prevents muscles from cramping. Some might even get it done after a game to help reduce tension and muscle aches.

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Need for a Therapist

If you are planning on getting a sports massage, make sure that the therapist you go to is licensed and knows what to do and how to get it done.

Treating sports-related injuries can be more complicated than one might think, which is why it is best to get it done from an expert.

These are the people who will be able to identify the painful area correctly and figure out how to treat it.


If you are confused about the type of massage that you should get or a little hesitant to get one, it is best that you visit your physician and ask for their opinion. They will be able to help guide you as to what your body needs.

Although there isn’t much of a difference between a sports and deep tissue massage, the primary objectives of both are unique.

If you are looking to relax or get rid of persistent pain, then a deep tissue massage would be best for you.

However, if you play sports and often suffer from sports-related injuries or muscles aches, a sports massage is ideal for you.

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Sports Massage vs. Deep Tissue Massage
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