MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Medical Educator Speakers Bureau Seminars and Events Research Studies Research Grants Catalyst PDF File Community Happenings Campus News

Return to Main Menu

Information on sports massage available

Stop by Health 1st’s Wellness Wednesday table in the Children’s Hospital lobby between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. March 19 to receive a free chair massage and ask questions about the benefits of massage.

by Steven Jurch
Harper Student Center
When it comes to exercise or sports performance, there are gadgets and gimmicks of all types to help improve  performance and give you an extra edge  competitors don’t have. 
Ultimately though to get faster, stronger, healthier and fitter: there is only one way to accomplish that—training  and exercise. If someone is sore or injured and can’t train at their optimal level or exercise on a regular basis, all the gadgets in the world won’t help. One way  individuals can keep themselves healthy is through the use of clinical sports massage. 
Clinical sports massage is much more than working on runners at the end of a road race; it is the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions using a framework based on information gathered through an advanced knowledge of anatomy, proficient palpation skills, competent assessment ability, a thorough history check and visual observation. 
This type of massage works to keep muscles in their peak condition in order to allow them to function properly and to help them recover from activity.
Sessions can range from full body recovery massages to very specific treatments for an injury or problem area. The therapist will begin by  checking the history of the client’s condition and obtain as much information as possible to ensure the proper treatment is provided.  
Several types of assessments may be performed, such as range of motion and postural alignment to obtain baseline measurements to track the effectiveness of the treatment. All of the information gathered will then be organized into a treatment strategy to provide the best outcome and fit the client’s needs. A variety of techniques will be used including connective tissue massage, trigger point therapy, and stretching. 
A therapist who specializes in clinical sports massage has generally received specialized training, so that there is an in-depth understanding of how injuries occur, what structures are involved, and what the best plan of care is.  Be sure to find someone who is experience with your condition. Don’t be afraid to interview the therapist. 
It is a common misconception that sports massage is only for elite athletes.  While this type of treatment can improve the performance of an athlete and help keep them in their sport, it is beneficial to anyone who suffers from chronic pain or has an injury— whether it comes from running a marathon, playing tennis on the weekend, or working in the garden. 
When it comes to the musculoskeletal system, we all have the same anatomy. A sore muscle is a sore muscle regardless of what caused it.  Clinical sports massage is a powerful type of therapy that can benefit a variety of ailments and should be looked on as the first stop in treating musculoskeletal conditions.

Worksite screening
Subscribers of the state health plan can receive a thorough preventive health screening April 24 at Harborview Office Tower. This screening, valued at $200, is available for $15. Employees without this insurance can participate for $38. This screening includes height, weight, blood pressure and a blood draw for blood chemistry profile, hemogram, and a blood lipid profile. For information, visit

Editor's note: The preceding column was brought to you on behalf of Health 1st. Striving to bring various topics and representing numerous employee wellness organizations and committees on campus, this weekly column seeks to provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and helpful information concerning all aspects of health.


Friday, March 14, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.