About Sports Massage

What is sports massage?

Sports massage is the application of manipulation and stretch methods to the muscles and connective tissues of the body to enhance athletic performance.

It is a type of therapy originally developed to help athletes maximise performance by working on specific muscles and connective tissues (eg tendons, ligaments and fascia) before, during and after sporting activity.  Increasingly, however, it is a popular method of treatment for a variety of conditions for non-athletes.

Why use sports massage?

It helps muscles prepare for action and aids their recovery afterwards.  It can also help speed recovery from injury and help alleviate long-term muscular conditions and postural problems as well as simply helping healthy muscles to stay healthy.  Niggles and injuries are a fact of life for athletes (and anyone, in fact), but a timely sports massage can be all that is needed to get you back training again. Properly-qualified practitioners have an excellent knowledge of anatomy, physiology and bio-mechanics  which allows them to adjust their techniques to achieve specific, targeted affects.  If a visit to the physiotherapist or osteopath is called for, a qualified practitioner will be able to refer you.

Sports massage is based on Swedish massage techniques but also uses other methods which are probably less familiar to most people than the stroking movements of a relaxing spa-type  massage. These other techniques include compression, friction, stretch and vibration and can be applied using hands, forearm, fist, knuckles, elbow, thumbs or fingers.  Sports massage can be slow and relaxing or fast and invigorating, superficial or deep, and can take five minutes or longer than an hour.

Sports massage vs physiotherapy

Important! The relationship between sports massage, physiotherapy and other healthcare professions

A sports massage therapist is not a physiotherapist, although they may use some of the same techniques and appear to have similar aims.

Sports massage therapists are not qualified to treat new or acute injuries and they cannot diagnose.  For that, you would need to see a state registered physio, osteopath, podiatrist or GP. However, a sports massage therapist can make a clinical assessment as to what the problem may or may not be and can refer you to another qualified health professional.

So if, during your initial assessment, it appears that your problem or injury is related to hard tissue (bone or cartilage) or could be neurological, I will refer you to an appropriate healthcare practitioner.  I have links with some superb practitioners and you’ll be in good hands. The main thing for both of us is that you get a good outcome as soon as possible.

Email

lou@louwalker.com

Enquiries and appointments

Phone
07764 189516

 

Call or text for more information

Price

£50 per one hour session
(£45 for members of both Winchester Running Club and Winchester & District Athletics Club members)

Clinic hours

Daytime: Monday to Friday, from 7am

Last appointment: 5pm

What people are saying

Lou was brilliant. She really focused on the areas I was feeling the tension in – stretching and massaging and checking in to see how things were feeling for me. After treatment I felt a lot looser, lighter and more relaxed. Thank you!

Lily

I am so happy Lou is round the corner. She is fabulous: kind, strong, knowledgeable and an early riser so I can go to her before work. I have had lots of massages/masseurs – she is the most effective so far by far

Sophie A

I’ve been having massages with Lou for 8 years and always felt better as a result, both before and after racing. She’s a very friendly expert and you can always guarantee restored legs and spirits after a session.

James M

Lou’s pleasant personality exudes friendliness and warmth making you feel welcome yet with adequate professional respectfulness. As a patient one feels reassured of her care and empathy. Her conduct as a valuable and efficient therapist cannot be doubted. Gunnel B

Lou provided excellent massage and advice as part of preparations for my first 100 mile ultramarathon. With her help I was able to train harder and more consistently than ever before and I firmly believe that our regular massage sessions prepared me so that I was able to recover so well after the event. Because Lou is an accomplished endurance athlete herself this really helps her understand her clients’ needs. Grant V