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Posted 01/29/2022 in Category 1

What does a sports massage therapist do?

What does a sports massage therapist do?

The work of a sports massage therapist falls into three major categories: assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation. Imagine you joined a sports team and your first meeting meant working with a sports massage therapist.

The first step on your journey as an athlete would be assessment. This assessment might include assessing a range of motion for your joints and the ease or difficulty in doing so. Sometimes we might find through assessment that we have pain and require treatment and rehabilitation.  The assessment phase is physical; however, it also requires an understanding of the psychological challenges of sport and the challenges of treatment and rehabilitation. Most people are aware of what happens in the treatment setting from experience. Maybe you require massage and strapping to support a limb which the sports massage therapist provides. During a competition, you might injure a part of your body which the sports massage therapist can assess and treat to mobilise the injury and ease pain. After sport and exercise events, we might need treatment and part of this treatment is to rehabilitate injuries and begin work to prevent injuries again as best possible. Treating what has happened is common, but treating what might happen is often challenging work for an athlete or exerciser. We might need a treatment plan to rehabilitate and prepare for sport and exercise. Sometimes the athlete or client will need support from another professional, which means referring the athlete or client to another professional such as a physiotherapist with a specific expertise or clinical psychologist or a physician. What we have presented here is a stage of steps that a sports massage therapist might follow from meeting a client or patient until the end of their work together. Assessment, treatment, rehabilitation, and referral are common stages on the path in a working day of a sports massage therapist. Of course, there are many other tasks and roles that a sports massage therapist will undertake, so these broad headings give you an idea of the work sports massage therapists do.

While these are the roles, we have and need several skills to fulfil these roles. As you will see, we need to be psychologically reading to undertake many of the tasks and skills as a sports massage therapist. We have grouped these skills into three categories: working with myself, working with others and working on processes. These three categories are necessary because when we work with ourselves, we are in a better position to work with others. Working with others is often the core of our work as sports massage therapists. And many of these good relationships develop through sound processes. When we work with ourselves, we can develop a respectful attitude towards our work and look after ourselves to work with others. By looking after ourselves, we can maintain our motivation, confidence, and fitness to practise. When we work with others, we learn to empathise, understand, offer guidance, received feedback, change and develop. We can always learn to work well with others through their feedback and our reflections on our own practice. The processes we engage in are our last category. These processes might be about communication with clients, giving instructions and following up on the processes to help the client or patient. Good processes might mean a suitable system for booking, creating invoices, taking payment, doing our accounts and developing our advertising.

We hope that this brief overview of what a sports massage therapist does is helpful. As a local sports directory we are proud to have a number of sports therapists listing their services with us. Visiting our home page to find a specialist in sports massage. 

Image by Andi Perdana from Pixabay