Sports Massage Therapy

Does Massage Help ACL Injury?

Breeze Academy November 1, 2023
tape on injured knee

ACL injuries are common in individuals who partake in strenuous activity. These injuries can cause a lot of pain. In this blog, we discuss the effectiveness of massage for ACL injuries and other steps that can be taken to speed up recovery. So, does massage help ACL injury?

Not only can massage be an effective treatment for ACL injuries, massaging after exercise can help to prevent injuries before they occur. Massage therapy can promote better rest for recovery by relaxing the muscles and releasing stress and anxiety. 

Read on to find out more about Massage Therapy for ACL injury and how effective it is in aiding the recovery process. 

Is Massage Good for ACL Therapy?

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and sprains are considered one of the most common sports injuries. This is a very painful injury that can be difficult to recover from if not treated carefully. Massage therapy has the potential to help a wide range of injuries, including ACL injuries, reducing muscle tightness and loosening scar tissue. This can alleviate pain, increase circulation and reduce swelling around the affected area.  

ACL injuries have been known to cause other effects on individuals, such as fear of reinjury and a negative impact on mental health. Massage has been shown to boost an individual’s mood during and after sessions and bring a state of relaxation. This relaxed state can carry over to a better night’s sleep, which helps boost recovery with proper rest. To find out more about the many benefits of massage, check out our recent blog. 

To help prevent injuries after intense workouts or sports sessions, Massage Therapy can alleviate tension and soreness, meaning individuals can safely continue their routine with a reduced risk of over-exertion. 

Which Type of Massage is Best for ACL Therapy? 

Sports Massage Therapy is a good option for anyone partaking in strenuous activity to relax the muscles, speed up recovery time and reduce stress and anxiety. Post-injury, individuals are more likely to experience pain and reduced range of motion. Studies have shown that a short post-exercise sports massage can significantly reduce the effects of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).  

As sports massage focuses on deep tissue penetration, it is thought to reduce injury recovery time. The affected area will have more nutrients and oxygen delivered through the increased blood circulation. Scar tissue will be broken down and waste products are removed from the muscles, meaning the injury can heal quickly.  

How Can You Speed Up the Recovery of an ACL Injury?

There are other things individuals can do to speed up their ACL injury recovery on top of Massage Therapy sessions. Most of these steps will be aided by regular massage sessions:Yea


Rest is one of the most effective ways to monitor the level of pain after an injury. Massage can help to promote better rest by releasing tension in the muscles, stress and anxiety. Encourage individuals to listen to their body, especially where pain is involved and express the importance of proper resting.  

Straighten Knee

To be able to fully straighten a knee after an ACL injury, pain must be managed and swelling around the injury must be reduced. Overstretching should be avoided but gentle stretching is encouraged. As massage can release tension in the muscles, stretching can be easier after a session. 

Hydrate and Eat

Staying hydrated and eating a nutritious diet can speed up the injury recovery process. This is especially important if you are also attending regular massage sessions, as this can deplete moisture from the body. Find out more about why drinking is so important after Massage Therapy in our in-depth blog. 

Final Thoughts

Massage therapy is thought to be an effective treatment for ACL injury recovery. It has been shown to promote better mental health through releasing stress and anxiety, which in turn can help individuals deal with the physiological effects of injuries. Waste products and scar tissue can be removed from the affected area quickly, speeding up the rate of recovery.

If you are a massage therapist looking to level up your practice, we have sports massage courses available to effectively provide massages to individuals. If you’re completely new to massage, take a look at our level 3 course. For those more experienced, our level 4 course may be more suitable.

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