Soft Tissue Treatment Or Massage; What Is The Difference? Dec 11 2018

If you’ve ever received or wanted a “massage” treatment you may have heard some of these terms, Soft Tissue Therapy, Sports Massage Therapy, Remedial Massage Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage.

So what is the difference? Which one is right for me, and is this treatment only for sports people?

At a basic level they are the same just different names, the techniques used may be similar, the results, and the bodies response may also be similar. However, the quality and effectiveness of each treatment depends on the therapist, their level of training and experience.

The Sports Massage Association (SMA) the UK governing body describe the terms Soft Tissue Therapy as, “an umbrella term that encapsulates a broad spectrum of skills. The techniques and skills used by soft tissue therapists have developed over time to ensure effective and efficient results are gained from each treatment. Furthermore, the skills of soft tissue therapy have developed beyond the ‘core’ discipline of massage”.

Definition of Soft Tissue Therapy:

According to the SMA, “Soft Tissue Therapy is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is applicable not just to sports people but to anybody wishing to guard against or recover from a soft tissue injury”.

Most therapies crossover with the type of conditions they treat, and the techniques used. All manual therapists treat the soft tissues of the body in one way or another and all treatments will offer some therapeutic value.

Which Treatment Is Right For You?

There are hundreds of different names describing “massage therapy”, so which treatment should you choose?

Keeping it simple, soft tissue therapy can be categorised into two areas:

1. Specific treatments

2. Maintenance treatments

Specific Treatments - “Soft Tissue Therapy”

This is directed towards a specific injury or area, works well with other healthcare professionals to provide soft tissue therapy during;


Pre & post surgery


Desk bound injuries such as back and neck pain

Acute soft tissue injuries, muscle strains, sprained ankle etc.

Maintenance Treatments - “Sports Massage”

Best suited for longer term goals;      

Conditioning / training phase of sports

Pre & post competition

During competition

Post travel - excellent for people taking regular business travel

Injury prevention - whether for sports or general aches & pains

Chronic stress

Chronic desk bound injuries such as back and neck pain

Chronic musculoskeletal conditions

To book in for soft tissue treatment or physiotherapy please get in touch via phone, email or book online!

Phone: 020 3488 2244


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