Sports Massage - Before or after?

With the 2018 Prudential RideLondon imminent we know that many people's thoughts are turning to preparation. Whether you're preparing for a sportive, race or any major event, sports massage can play a valuable role in ensuring you perform at your best and remain injury free.

Vina Panesar, Sports Massage Therapist at New Body Osteopathy, takes a look at the benefits of pre and post event treatment.

"Massage… Should I get it before or after my event?"

This question has cropped up quite a lot in the clinic lately… And the answer to it is… BOTH!

A pre- and post-event massage has its benefits, Read on to find out how:

PRE-Event Massage

A massage pre-event is recommended anywhere from two days until right before your event. This will assist in joint mobility and muscle flexibility… Especially true for cyclists who need good range of motion to generate that consistent RPM!

Hip, buttock and knee pain are some of the most common complaints I receive from cyclists. This is mostly due to inflexibility of musculature surrounding the hips and knees. Top ones being: Hip flexors, quadriceps and gluteals.

Muscles and joints work simultaneously. So by lengthening muscle tissue with massage, you are effectively influencing the joints too. Remember, any sport and gym regime must be accompanied with good nutrition, hydration, foam rolling and stretching. Each component has its part to play.

I am frequently supplying my patients with foam roller exercises and stretches to complete daily. See below for some tips:

above: Two versions of hip stretches, which can be performed daily.

below: Foam rolling your quadriceps will ease tension and help avoid stiffness.

Post-Event Massage

After any long event or tough workout, most of us have experienced that horrible lasting soreness known as DOMS! (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

Any kind of vigorous exercise causes micro-tears in muscles fibres… This leads to an inflammatory reaction as your body attempts to repair itself. The body also accumulates a substance called lactic acid, and this can contribute to DOMS.

Research has shown that a post-event massage can speed up recovery twice as fast as normal rest. Massage increases blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. This means you are able to efficiently restore those micro-tears and remove lactic acid. As a result, you will experience less pain and get back to training quicker!

Maintenance Massage

Massage treatments are also a good adjunct to your regular exercise routine. It can help to ensure your body is in tip-top condition and prevent RSIs (Repetitive Strain Injuries). Repeated motions can cause muscle fibres to 'stick' closely together, so regular treatment will limit muscular knots and muscle tightness that may ultimate lead to an injury.

And let's not forget… Massage feels amazing! It has been proven to enhance mental & emotional outlook, and improve sleep quality. Massage is a great way to reward all your hard work too… You deserve it!


To find out more about how to prepare for the race - specific to your individual needs - and receive a bespoke plan by New Body Osteopathy's Sports Massage Therapists, contact 0207 177 0207 or book online at