Soft tissue therapy & sports massage

The classical treatment that everyone loves and its more comprehensive counterpart


Our service is rooted in years of offering first rate traditional sports massage maintenance rubdowns for athletes and everyday people alike. But things move on… Remedial Sports Massage Therapy has become Soft Tissue Therapy officially. So whats the difference?


Sports Massage Therapist

• Someone who gives a deeper massage which aims to help athletes prepare and recover better from hard exercise or competition. Many non-sports people like this deeper massage because it can help relieve minor aches and pains.

Sport and Remedial Massage Therapist

• A therapist who uses massage and more advanced techniques to help improve the recovery of common sports related injuries. People with non-sports injuries can find this equally beneficial.

Soft Tissue Therapist

• A therapist who can work independently to assess, treat and offer rehabilitation advice for people suffering a wide range of minor and chronic injuries caused by any lifestyle factor. As well as treating the injury they aim to identify the underlying causes and offer more long-term improvements in physical wellbeing. At RESTORE this encompasses a range of assessment methods and treatment techniques. All of which fall under the remit of the Soft Tissue Therapist. Our unique skill set has been tailored towards the disciplines that we feel to be most impactful. Disciplines that are best grouped under the umbrella term ‘Applied Neurology’. Referring to various protocols whose principle focus is on assessing and influencing neuromuscular control of the body and the factors that govern appropriate movements and muscle balance – the brain and specifically cerebellum.

Other commonly used titles

Manual Therapist:

• Someone who uses their body (usually their hands) to treat another person. So any of the above could claim this title.

Manipulative Therapist:

• Someone who treats by manipulating the body, so it could be used by a wide range of therapist but more usually by Osteopaths and Chiropractors.

Deep Tissue Therapist:

• Much the same as Sports Massage but commonly used by those who treat non-sports people.

Sports Therapist:

• There are Degrees and Diplomas in sports therapy and the title should only be used by those with these qualifications. This therapy has emerged through the sport and fitness sector (not the Complementary Healthcare sector) and its primary focus is on sports performance.

Trigger Point Therapist:

• Usually massage or soft tissue therapist who specialises in this one particular technique.

Sports Injury Therapist:

• Probably the same as a Sports Therapist.

Because there is no Statutory Regulation in this sector, therapists can use any title that is not otherwise protected, like Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Chiropractor. However, the title must be fair and honest so they should only use the correct title that fits their qualification. It is not illegal for a Level 3 massage therapist to call themselves a Soft Tissue Therapist but this is not honest and could be judged unfair by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Because Soft Tissue Therapy includes Sports Massage, and this can still be a big part of the job, it is still fair and honest for them to use the ‘Sports Massage’ if they want to. Indeed, many use both and have two different business cards to promote their work.

Soft Tissue Therapy and COVID. In the words of our governing body: 

Soft Tissue Therapy is a relatively new discipline in modern healthcare. We use evidence-based practice which integrates traditional hands-on techniques and exercise-based rehabilitation to treat musculoskeletal injuries and pain (in much the same way as traditional Physiotherapy). In the private sector we are accessed as a primary source of healthcare for people with minor and chronic injuries which, in its own small way, takes some pressure off the NHS.

In the Government’s Covid Safety planning, Soft Tissue Therapy has been categorised as a Close Contact Service along with massage parlours, beauticians and tattooists. Although massage is one of the interventions we use it does not define us and we practice in a clinical setting providing treatment for injuries and pain as well as symptom management for other long-term conditions. In this respect I operate in the same way, and with the same health and safety risks, as a Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Chiropractor who are in the Health Services category. For Covid Safety planning we should be categorised as a Health Service the same as they are.

Being wrongly classified as Close Contact Services is unfair to the patients I treat in your constituency because: 

  1. In Tier 3 Local Restrictions I could be requested to stop practising 
  2. If contacted by Test and Trace they will require me to self-isolate even if I have been wearing PPE as recommended by PHE. (as Health Service occupations, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors will be exempt from self-isolation.)”


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