Deep Tissue Massage vs. Sports Massage

Massage therapy is a useful way of keeping your body in good shape. And just as there are various reasons you might get a massage or multiple places on your body that could benefit from a massage, there are different types of massages altogether, two of which are deep tissue massage and sports massage. These two types of massages are similar but also have a distinct difference. 

The difference between sports massage deep tissue massage and is the parts of the body that are focused on during the massage. 

Deep tissue massage therapy focuses on the whole body. In contrast, sports massage therapy is a more targeted approach, focusing on the parts of the body that are easily injured or strained by recreational activity. 

To determine which type of massage may be best for you, read on to get the details on both. 

 

Sports Massage Therapy

As mentioned above, sports massage therapy is specifically focused on the soft tissues that are more easily injured or strained when the patient plays sports or does any other recreational activity. But sports massages don’t have to be for the injured. Some athletes incorporate sports massages into their pre and post-competition regimens to keep their bodies in optimal form.  

 

Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy

Sports massages are helpful for aches and pains of all sorts. Still, they can be best utilized in the unfortunate event of being injured during a recreational activity, such as overuse and over-extension of a baseball pitcher’s arm. 

The overall benefits of sports massages are both physical and mental. Physically, the techniques used in sports massage can loosen tightened muscles, increase blood flow and overall range of motion, and in some cases, help speed up injury recovery time, depending on the injury the athlete sustains. Apart from the physical, massages can have a distinct mental benefit, as well. In general, massage therapy can increase the production of certain chemicals in the brain, particularly dopamine and serotonin, that can help regulate one’s mental faculties and even impact certain conditions, such as anxiety or depression. 

 

Ideal Candidates for Sports Massage Therapy 

Massage therapy has both mental and physical benefits; sports massage therapy may be especially beneficial to athletes. When sports are such a monumental aspect of your life, the physical benefits of sports massage may help to either prevent or expedite recovery from an injury. Sports massage can also help with the mental strain that comes with either being sidelined from an injury or being hyperaware of trying to avoid one.

 

Deep Tissue Massage Therapy

Suppose sports massage is targeted to areas that might be at-risk in athletes. In that case, deep tissue massages are for aches and pains anywhere, as the massage therapist will dedicate an amount of time to treating the body as a whole and any areas the patient identifies as problematic.

 

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage Therapy 

Like sports massage, deep tissue massage therapy has physical and mental health benefits to it. 

The techniques used in deep tissue massage therapy can aid in the loosening of muscles and the reparation of scar tissue, thanks to the circulatory system’s opening. Similarly, the effleurage—lighter stroking touches—and petrissage—kneading, squeezing touches—techniques used in deep tissue massage therapy can help to stimulate the body’s lymph system. Stimulating the lymph system helps to rid the muscles of the toxins that have built up over time. 

Additionally, when undergoing massage therapy, the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, get reduced. Stress can play a part in chronic illness, particularly making a disease’s symptoms worse. There is also research evidence to suggest that the use of massage therapy can improve the patient’s ability to sleep, which in itself allows the body to rest and recover from certain illnesses or injuries. Massage therapy may also relieve the symptoms of physical ailments, such as the chronic pain experienced by people living with fibromyalgia. 

Like sports massage, deep tissue massage therapy helps produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which can help improve sleep and mitigate certain mental disorders. 

 

Ideal Candidates for Deep Tissue Massage Therapy 

Because deep tissue massage therapy is overall less targeted than sports massage therapy, it stands to reason that it would have a more considerable appeal. Just about anyone is a good candidate for a deep tissue massage. 

The body’s soft tissues, particularly around joints like the knees and shoulders, can even become tense or injured during everyday activity, including the repeated lifting of objects in manual labor positions. Even for an office worker sitting at a desk all day, there is a risk of muscle strain. Deep tissue massage focuses on those soft tissues. Because of this focus, the athletically challenged are as deserving of a massage as the athletically capable. 

Of course, it is vital to be aware of your own body when booking a massage appointment. Certain conditions carry a risk of injury if a body part is manipulated too roughly. Similarly, certain medications, such as blood thinners, have a risk for a massage patient. Be sure to mention any such medications you may be taking in preparation for your appointment. 

 

A Final Word 

Overall, the similarities between deep tissue massage therapy and sports massage therapy are far greater in number than their differences. Both employ techniques with varying degrees of pressure and intensity with the same goal of restorative treatment. Both offer several physical and mental benefits as a result. The difference is the reason for treatment and the body parts on which the session will center. 

If you are still unsure which sort of massage might best benefit you, call your local massage parlor and inquire about the services they offer. They likely will offer both sports massage and deep tissue massage, but it is a good idea to confirm. And should you be looking for a sports massage, physical therapy offices are also a safe bet. 

No matter where you go, and no matter which massage you choose, your body will indeed thank you.

The Difference Between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath

Difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor

When searching for someone to treat their discomfort, most people think of either a chiropractor or an osteopath. But what’s the difference between the two?  Chiropractors place a greater emphasis on your spine, making sure that it’s in the correct alignment. However, osteopaths will focus on the muscles and nerves, taking a more holistic view of your health. 

At first glance, chiropractors and osteopaths can be very similar. But the more you know about their practices and beliefs, the more different they become. Let’s take a closer look at this area, so you’ll know which one you should visit. 

 

What is an Osteopath?

Let’s start by looking at the functions performed by each professional. An osteopath will take a holistic approach to your health. They believe that all parts of our bodies are connected. As a result, massaging one part of your body will be enough to ease the pain. This technique will start the self-healing process. As a result, they will work across multiple parts of the body to ease the pain that their patients are experiencing. 

 

What Is a Chiropractor? 

Chiropractors are experts that focus on the way that your spine can impact the rest of the body. If your spine is out of alignment, this can impact your nerves. This issue is often the cause of any pain that you might be experiencing. By placing the spine back into the correct alignment, chiropractors can reduce the amount of pain that their patients are experiencing. 

 

The Difference Between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor

We can now look at some of the most significant differences between an osteopath and a chiropractor. First, there is a significant difference in the way that they approach the pain relief process. As we mentioned, the osteopath takes a more whole-body approach. This approach can include making recommendations about the type of diet that you should be eating. On the other hand, a chiropractor will focus primarily on the spine

Another significant difference is how long it takes you to be treated for pain. Typically, chiropractic treatment will be shorter. This solution can take a few weeks, depending on how misaligned your spine is. However, if you were going to see an osteopath, it would take longer for you to get the treatment you need. It might take months before your treatment is over. 

Third, there is a difference in the way that patients are diagnosed and treated. Many chiropractors tend to rely on X-rays. This option allows them to get a clear picture of the way the spine is curved. This technique allows them to predict the type of treatment they will need to conduct. On the other hand, an osteopath will focus on performing a physical examination of the body. They will also ask a lot more questions about the patient. If they feel that more advanced tests need to be performed, they will refer the patient to someone else. 

 

What Are the Similarities?

As we’ve seen, there are many differences between chiropractors and osteopaths. However, there are also many similarities between them. First, they share a similar philosophy. They believe that your spine can have a significant influence on your overall health. Because of this, massaging or adjusting the spine will help relieve the pain you are experiencing. They will also help you improve your blood flow around the body. 

Though they might use different techniques, they both want to help people get rid of their back or muscle pain. Also, both will customize the treatment to suit the individual patient. This solution will make sure that they are delivering the best possible results. 

 

What Treatments Does Each Perform?

Let’s look at the specific functions that a chiropractor and osteopath might perform. A chiropractor is designed to help you adjust your back. They work on putting your spine back into the correct alignment. As a result, they will often start by taking X-rays of your spine. This procedure lets them check on the current alignment. Then, they will work on massaging your spine back into the correct position. 

This process could involve a chiropractic adjustment, where they put pressure onto your back, pushing your spine. In this case, you’ll hear a few pops. But you shouldn’t feel any pain. They might also use some tools. For example, they can use lasers to stimulate blood flow. In other cases, they will use a tool called an Activator Adjusting Instrument. This procedure delivers a sharp jolt to the joint, relieving the pain and improving its functionality. Over multiple sessions, this will allow them to put the spine back into alignment, eliminating the pain you are experiencing. 

This approach is different from the way that an osteopath works. First, they will ask you multiple questions, which gives them a better idea of your general health and diet. Then, they will focus on finding the source of the pain. Once they know what might be causing the pain, they can start the treatment. In many cases, they will use a massage. Unlike the chiropractor, they can massage all parts of the body. 

There are several types of osteopathy. Often, the one that is used will depend on your age and the type of pain you are experiencing. For example, babies and small children might get cranial osteopathy. In this case, they will receive a gentle head massage. In other cases, they will use visceral osteopathy which focuses on the organs. These massages will allow you to get better movements in your joints. 

 

Osteopath or Chiropractor, to Treat Back Pain?

Hopefully, you have a better knowledge of what chiropractors and osteopaths are and how they work. But which one should you pick the next time you have back pain? Ultimately, this will be a personal decision. They both offer pain relief; they work in a slightly different way. But there are some things that you can consider when making your choice. 

First, it’s crucial to think about the type of pain of which you’re concerned. If the pain is isolated in your back and spine, it might be best to see a chiropractor. However, if it encompasses other joints, you might want to consider talking to an osteopath. Also, if you feel that the pain is linked to a more complex health problem, you might want to consider talking to an osteopath. 

Another good way to make the right choice is by talking to both. During the consultation, talk about the type of back pain that you are experiencing. They might want to do a brief examination or take some X-rays. Then, ask them to outline what the treatment will be. Listen to both approaches and pick the one that you think will do you the best. 

 

Conclusion

When you develop back or joint pain, it’s essential to get it treated. The longer the pain continues, the worse it will become, until it has a significant impact on your life. Thankfully, there are treatment options for you to explore. The most popular options are chiropractors and osteopaths. As we’ve seen, they use different approaches to treating the problem. However, they can both offer you an effective way of relieving your back pain. So, pick the method that most appeals to you and find significant pain relief today.