Sports Massage .vs. Soft Tissue Therapy

A few months have passed since I completed and passed my Level 5 Soft Tissue Therapy course and it has recently dawned upon me, whether there is a clear difference between sports massage (SM) and soft tissue therapy (STT).


Our class was one of the first to be able to hold the title of becoming a STT. As exciting as that was, it never occurred to me whether it would be perceived as a new, forward thinking profession in comparison to SM.

If I was to write the definition of SM against STT into a famous search engine, the results for SM would mostly cover therapists, armed with specialised techniques, such as trigger point therapy, myofascial and friction techniques, but profoundly directed at those who are in sports and athletic environments.

Now, if I was to search for STT not only will I not find much, due to its recent development in the world of massage, but from what I have found list the same techniques and styles already covered by SM (please feel free to point me in the direction where I might be wrong).

So, this is what got me to think…why is there a need to have a different title if we are doing much the same as a SM therapist…

and it reminded me of something that my tutor said during the class and that is “sports massage is for everyone”.  The reason behind changing the title of the profession was to be able to invite those who may have only thought that SM was only for those in sport related activities.

Developing a new title would encourage those to seek treatment for everyday sprains, strains and acute injuries which can happen, whether or not you are in sports related activities of not. Who is to say that the injury which may prevent you from doing daily activities will be much different from those who participate in sports?

By enforcing this change, people from all walks of life will be able to confidently reach out to STTs (and SMs) and benefit from the specialised techniques to improve acute and chronic injuries, without thinking they have to run a 100 mile marathon first! The ankle sprain you got, running to get the bus, STT can help! The strain you received trying to build the DIY furniture, STT can help with that too! And the everyday loading of putting your child in the rear facing car seat, STT can step in to help facilitate healing in those hard to reach achy places!


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