first sports massage

What to expect on your first sports massage

A good sports massage will both help prevent and relieve soreness, stresses and pains which occur as a result of any kind of physical activity. If you’ve never had a sports massage, or indeed, any kind of massage before, you’re probably wondering what to expect on your first sports massage, so here’s our quick guide.


Before beginning the treatment, you’ll be asked to fill in a medical questionnaire. There are certain conditions and medications that may be adversely affected by a massage – known as ‘contraindications’ – so the therapist needs to ask these questions in order to know that it’s safe to begin your massage.

If, on the day of your appointment, you have a cold, fever or other illness, or you have a skin irritation (sunburn or a rash), ring your therapist to let them know. These are all contraindications, so it’s best to reschedule your massage when you’re feeling better.

The massage experience

If you are worried about what will happen in your massage, ask your therapist to explain what they’ll be doing. They’ll not only give you massage tips and let you know what they will be doing, they’ll also explain why, e.g. they need to move your arm in a certain way as it’ll allow them to work on the shoulder blades more effectively. If you know what is about to happen, you’ll be able to relax more.

The massage therapist will leave the room to give you the chance to undress and lie down on the couch, covering yourself with a large towel. The therapist will respect your privacy and keep you covered as much as possible at all times, only exposing the areas of your body they need to work on.

Is the sports massage painful?

Your therapist will always begin by warming each area they’re working on with gentle strokes. They’ll then work more deeply in order to break down the ‘knots’ and realign the muscle fibres – sometimes using their knuckles or elbows. There is a chance that you’ll experience discomfort, but you’ll instinctively identify it as a ‘good pain’ – you’ll know exactly what that means when you feel it! It is a necessary pain that will hopefully enhance your sports performance.

After the treatment

Don’t be surprised if you feel bruised in the places that were worked on the most – it’s a sign of all the effort your therapist has done to clear the knots that were restricting your movement. It may be uncomfortable for a day or two, but the rewards will be worth it!