Sports massage therapy has a number of benefits for patients, but how does it complement physiotherapy? In this article we outline how massage therapy can complement physiotherapy, how physiotherapists can integrate sports massage into their practice, and how physiotherapists can become sports massage therapists.
How does sports massage complement physiotherapy?
Sports massage has a number of benefits as a solo treatment, but when integrated into physiotherapy, the benefits can be heightened. Not only do your patients receive tension and muscle relief from the sports massage, but they could also recover from their injuries quicker than with solo treatments.
What’s more, sports massage can help to prevent injuries, and can treat minor problems quickly, meaning that injuries are less likely to recur or create further complications down the line.
When integrated into a physiotherapy care plan, sports massage can also help to alleviate pain, aid better sleep, and can help with some mental health issues such as stress and anxiety.
How can physiotherapists integrate sports massage therapy into their practice
Physiotherapists can integrate sports massage into their practice by building the therapy into individual care plans for people that would benefit from it. For example, an athlete suffering with a sport-related injury, or an individual with a muscular condition. There are three key ways to integrate sports massage therapy into physiotherapy care plans:
As routine maintenance for athletes or those with long-term conditions
Regular sports massages as part of a physiotherapy care plan can help to manage long-term conditions, and can help to keep athletes fit and healthy with quicker recovery from strain and minor injuries.
As part of sports physiotherapy care plan for a specific event
Sports massage can help to prevent injuries in athletes. Sports physiotherapists can integrate sports massage into their athletes’ care programme before a big event to help reduce the risk of injury and encourage top performance.
Integrating sports massage into physiotherapy can shorten recovery times for both athletes and non-athletes alike, speeding up the healing process and reducing pain and discomfort.
How do physiotherapists become a sports massage therapist?
To become a sports massage therapist, physiotherapists should complete an accredited sports massage course. Completing a CPD course in sports massage therapy should be enough to begin practising.
What qualifications does a sports massage therapist need?
Physiotherapists don’t need a degree in sports massage, however, the completion of a Level 3 sports massage course is the minimum requirement to practice. The Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy, and the Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy are ideal CPD courses for physiotherapists.
However, having only the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy, or the Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy, does not allow those that have successfully completed these courses to diagnose patients. Patients must be previously diagnosed elsewhere before being treated by a Level 3 or Level 4 sports massage therapist.
But, as physiotherapists are trained in healthcare and anatomy, and are autonomous practitioners, they are able to diagnose patients based on their physiotherapy background. Those that are not currently healthcare professionals can also take the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy, and the Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy to become a sports massage therapist.
You can learn more about sports massage courses and how to become a sports massage therapist in our recent blog here.
Sports massage courses for physiotherapists at Breeze Academy
Breeze Academy is one of the UK’s leading CPD providers for healthcare professionals. We provide a range of CPD courses, including Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy, and the Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy which are perfect for physiotherapists wanting to integrate sports massage into their practice. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our range of CPD courses for physiotherapists.