Sports Medicine
Sports Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation
(650) 815-6552

Voted Best Sports Therapy Clinic in the San Francisco Bay Area 2010-2016!

Sports Massage and Athlete Care


As athletes, we are often pushing ourselves physically and mentally in pursuit of our sport. Training, eating right, mental preparation and dealing with sports injuries are just a few of the challenges that every athlete has to deal with. Athletic Edge understands and appreciates the efforts and sacrifices made by you, let us create massage-based treatment sessions that focus on what you need the most. (Also see Sports Massage Page.)

Injury Rehabilitation – We’re here for you if you get injured. We understand what it’s like to sit out of training or a game due to an injury. Whether it’s a muscle pull, joint pain or recovery from surgery, we are trained to get you back in the game as quickly as possible while preventing further injury

Our Massage Therapists Will Support You!
We understand athletes! Weekend warriors to professional athletes can expect our massage therapists to provide you more than a typical Sports Massage. We’ll customize your massage treatment plan, review your training routine, educate you on your imbalances and empower you to take care of yourself with stretches and strengthening routines. Our therapists have worked with professional athletes and teams for over two decades.

What Are The Different Types of Sports Massage?
  • Injury Prevention – With a sport-specific focus, we will assess your biomechanical imbalances, areas of tightness and range of motion and provide therapeutic treatments to help “rebalance” your body. We also provide stretches & home therapy (such as foam roller and self-massage techniques) specific to your body to help prevent injuries from occurring.
  • Maintenance – You have reached a high level of fitness, let us help you keep it. Weekly or bi-monthly sessions designed to reduce recovery time between intense workouts, decrease muscle tightness, release holding patterns and reduce the potential for injury.
  • Pre-Event – A light, invigorating session designed to prepare your body and mind for your event. This massage is usually scheduled 24 hours before competition.
  • At-the-Event – Participating in a multi-day event or want us to be present at your competition? Similar to “Pre-Event” massage, this session removes lactic acid buildup and cellular waste, speeds recovery for tired, aching muscles and prepares you physically and mentally for your competition.
  • Post Event – This session focuses on restoring your body to its pre-event condition by reducing recovery time, treating injuries and relaxing muscles. We recommend you receive this work within 48 hours of your competition.


Physical benefits of sports massage:

  • Pumping and stroking movements in massage remove the fluid through blood and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in the front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue (as a tight muscle will act similar to a sponge with blood, and deprive the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.)
  • Increased tissue permeability – Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourages the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients, which helps the muscles recover more quickly.
  • Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibers are stretched vertically as well as horizontally. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
  • Break down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can continually affect muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
  • Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard an inelastic. This is one reason why hard and intensive training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
  • Opens micro-circulation – Massage increases blood flow to tissues (as does exercise), but massage opens/dilates the blood vessels and by stretching them, nutrients are able to pass through more easily

Physiological benefits of sports massage:

  • Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the body’s endorphins.
  • Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation, and stretching. Mechanoreceptors that sense touch, pressure, tissue length, and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.


Psychological benefits of massage:

  • Anxiety reduction – Through the effects mentioned above, relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels.
  • Invigorating – If massage is done with brisk movements (such as what would be done before an event) then this can produce an invigorating feeling.


Athletic Edge treats injuries and dysfunctions such as: Tendinitis, Ankle Sprains, Carpal Tunnel, Plantar Fasciitis, Low Back Pain, Muscle Strains/Tears, Frozen Shoulder, IT Band Syndrome, Tension and Migraine Headaches, Scar Tissue.

Athletic Edge Prevents Injury and Enhances Performance By: Accelerating Healing/Recovery After Workouts, Loosening Tight Muscles, Reducing Swelling/Bruising/Pain, Stimulating Weakened Muscles, Increasing Range of Motion, Promoting Blood and Lymph Flow, and Boosting the Immune System.

Why Choose Athletic Edge?
Every athlete looks for an edge. What separates you from everyone else? Let Athletic Edge be your edge. In addition to highly skilled massage therapists, Athletic Edge has a team of sports and injury specialists who can assess and treat your issues and collaborates with health care professionals of chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy and others. Please call and let us help you find your edge.

Our Experience:
The staff at Athletic Edge takes great pride in our ability to help athletes and injure
clients reach their full potential. We work in conjunction with doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists and other health care professionals to provide our clients with the highest level of care possible. We have treated everything from pulled muscles, whiplash and joint pain to scoliosis,  carpal tunnel syndrome and severe nerve pain. And if you’re an athlete, we will create a session unique to your needs using the same knowledge, skills and experience we have developed working with professional level athletes from the NFL, MLS, World Cup, Olympians, International Rugby teams, professional cyclists, runners, triathletes, rock climbers and many other sports. Athletic Edge experience combines years of massage experience, including executive planning and execution of therapy for the Tennessee Titans, Country Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, Music City Marathon, Rock N' Roll Marathon, Salt Lake City Olympics, Vanderbilt Athletics, Stanford Athletics, and various NFL teams across the country.  Athletic Edge is staffed with licensed and nationally certified (NCTMB) massage therapists who have a common goal when it comes to client needs: utilizing massage techniques to treat athletic injuries, and also aid in the prevention of future damage to soft tissues. Athletic Edge maintains the highest standards in massage therapy, requiring our therapists to have over 1,200 hours of education, a state and city permit for practicing, and a minimum of 2,000 hours of client experience.  Most of our therapists far exceed these requirements, and they are equipped with extensive clinical experience and thousands of practice hours on their resume. Our certified clinical massage therapists and neuromuscular therapists have been trained in Sports Massage, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy (NMT) and other forms of soft tissue work to provide a variety of therapy options to meet your wellness needs. Each therapist also holds a professional membership with the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).


what exactly is Sports Massage?
Sports Massage is a style of bodywork that addresses the particular needs of athletes. Sports Massage is a special form of massage and is typically used before, durin
g, and after athletic events, as well as off-season, pre-season and post-season massage. The purpose of the massage is to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. Sports Massage utilizes a mixture of techniques ranging from Swedish, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Therapy, Structural Integration (similar to Rolfing®), Myofascial Release, and Facilitated Stretching. The final ingredient is a therapist that understands the demands that your sport has on your body, and how to address those demands with Sports Massage.

What are the benefits of Sports Massage for an athlete?

Some of the most exciting benefits of Sports Massage are: enhanced athletic performance, faster workout recovery, fewer injuries and faster recovery from injury, restored flexibility and range of motion, removal of lactic acid buildup, extending the overall life of your athletic career, reducing feelings of stress, and maintaining the body in better condition.

Will Sports Massage help my injury?

Yes. Sports massage is proven to reduce recovery time, sometimes dramatically, by shortening the time it takes for injuries to heal, and makes the after effects "better". Sports Massage reduces the swelling and edema associated with soft tissue injuries. After a serious injury, Sports Massage helps form strong pliable scar tissue instead of the usual random stiff scar tissue, so that range of motion and tissue extensibility are maintained.

A short list of benefits are:

  • Shortens the time it takes for an injury to heal.
  • Helps to reduce swelling and edema.
  • Helps to form soft, pliable scar tissue.
  • Maintains or increases range of motion.
  • Eliminates splinting in associated muscle tissue.
  • Locates and deactivates "trigger points" that form as a result of the original trauma.
  • Helps get the athlete back into training sooner with less chance of re-injury.

Will Sports Massage really make me stronger or faster, or increase my performance?

Yes, in an indirect way. Sport Massage tweaks your body to a state of higher efficiency so that you can get an extra 20% more - more speed, more strength, more performance. Sports Massage breaks down muscle adhesions, relieves knots, increases range of motion, decreases pain, increases circulation, stretches tight muscles, reduces stiffness and generally reduces the negative after effects of hard training. This means you can train harder than you ever have before. You can excel to higher levels than you thought possible.

Will Sports Massage help me extend my sports career?

Yes. The prominent cause of diminishing athletic ability with aging is due to years of micro-trauma from maximum exertion coupled with the cumulative results of old unresolved injuries. When Sports Massage is used on a regular basis, the effects of these traumas are lessened. The effects of injuries are overcome. The muscle tissues and fascia remain supple and pliable much longer. The musculoskeletal system keeps full range of motion. Couple these benefits with the extra 20% performance that Sports Massage gives you, then the natural "slowdown" associated with aging is pushed back to a much later time.

How often should I get a Sports Massage?

That depends on several factors such as training volume and intensity, whether or not you have chronic pain or acute injury, and other factors. For some athletes, a massage twice a week gives huge results. Other athletes only get an occasional Sports Massage if they're in pain. The best way to reduce the effects of hard training is with regular Sports Massage. We suggest you try a series of 5 or 6 Sports Massages to see how you feel when the positive effects accumulate. Then you'll be able to decide how often you need a Sports Massage. However, it is a fact that even getting massaged once or twice a month regularly has long lasting positive impact.

Will one single Sports Massage "fix" my problems?

Sometimes yes. If you have a tight painful neck and shoulder complex you can expect to come away from a Sports Massage experiencing a lot of relief, at least for a while. But it probably took you months or years to get that way. It's not reasonable to expect permanent relief from an hour session of Sports Massage.

The effects of Sports Massage are very much like the effects of athletic training. Your first bike ride won't turn you into Lance Armstrong. But a consistent training program will turn you into a competitive cyclist. So it is with Sports Massage. Consistent Sports Massage can offer very positive results to chronic issues and painful conditions.

The therapists at Athl
tic Edge are experienced with the issues seen in modern sports and athletics. We will be able to assess your issues and help you design a program to help you overcome them in the shortest possible time.

What is lactic acid buildup and how does Sports Massage help with that?

Lactic acid is a constituent part of the cellular metabolic cycle. During strenuous anaerobic exercise the levels of lactic acid can rise to high levels, causing fatigue and a burning feeling in the muscle tissues. The high levels of lactate can linger longer than most of us would wish for.

One way to diminish that burning feeling in our muscles is with a recovery style Sports Massage. The long strokes of a recovery Sports Massage aids circulation. The stagnant blood and fluids are "pumped" toward the heart and liver. Freshly oxygenated blood rushes into the muscle tissue, giving a refreshed relaxed feeling to sore muscles. After a post-workout Sports Massage, recovery from a grueling workout or training session is much more brief.

Is Sports Massage painful

It depends on the conditions and problem areas that we are addressing, and the type of sports massage. If we are doing a session as
a warm-up for an event, or if you have an event within 72 hours, we will not do any deep work. Deep work can change your muscle structure, and we do not want to do that before an event. It's typical to be sore for several days after a deep Sports Massage. If it's your off-season, or if you're just in training and don't have any immediate events, we would probably look at using deeper work to address any problematic areas, and prevent future injuries. If you have an event coming up, a pre-event Sports Massage would be the right choice before a race. Pre-event Sports Massage boosts circulation and flexibility. It leaves muscles relaxed and ready for action. Pre-event massage can help prevent muscle and tendon injuries and improve performance.

Are there times that I shouldn't get a Sports Massage?
Yes. Contraindications are conditions when you should not be massaged. The most common condition among athletes is that of an acute injury or inflammation. Usually the first 72 hours after an injury are the acute stage. After the swelling and pain begin to diminish, massage is indicated.

A partial list of contraindications are: fever, vascular conditions, severe heart disease, contagious skin conditions, inflammation, abrasions, cuts, hematomas, cancer, neuritis, recent surgery, infectious diseases, diabetes with vascular dysfunction, fractures, and acute injury. There are too many possible conditions to list here so it is your responsibility to alert the therapist of any medical condition or injury before a massage begins. Some conditions are localized so massage may take place except in the affected area.