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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Please Note: The following are frequently asked questions that we receive here at Athletic Edge. This is not medical information and is presented for informational purposes only. For particular conditions, please consult with you medical practitioner or doctor. If you have questions you don’t see answered here, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.





What Is Massage? What Is Bodywork?
Massage is a healthcare practice in which a skilled therapist addresses physical dysfunction by manipulating the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia of the body.  Bodywork is a term that includes massage, but can also include assisted or passive stretching, resistance tests, diagnostic work, and hydrotherapy.  At Athletic Edge, we are also health educators, and we believe that learning more about the way your body works can vastly improve how you care for your physical health.

What Are The Different Types Of Massage That You Offer? 
Athletic Edge therapists customize each massage session depending upon the needs of the client.  Our therapists are trained in over 15 different modalities (massage techniques), and we combine these techniques to provide the right type of massage to each client.  We offer: Acupressure, Aromatherapy, Cold Laser Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage, Foot Massage, Head/Neck/Shoulder Massage, Integrative Massage, Jaw Pain (TMJ) Massage, Myofascial Release Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, Orthopedic/Clinical/Medical Massage, Paraffin Treatments, Pre-Natal (Pregnancy) Massage, Scalp Massage, Siddah Body Detoxification Massage, Sports Massage, Structural Integration, Swedish (Relaxation) Massage, as well as Corporate and Out-Call Massages.

What If I Don't Know Which Type Of Massage I Want/Need? 

If you're not sure exactly what you need to have addressed in your session, please don't worry. Put your trust in an experienced Athletic Edge Massage Therapist.  We welcome both clients who are new to massage and may not know what they need, as well as massage connoisseurs. This is what we do daily and we love it.  Massage is one of the greatest tools you can use to learn more about your needs in health and physical well-being. Our therapists will ask you questions regarding your areas of tension, your general stress level and your lifestyle, and then formulate a session based on these needs and on your individual massage preferences.

What Should You Expect At Your First Massage? 
For your first appointment, we ask that you arrive about fifteen minutes early, in order to make sure that you have adequate time to park and locate our space, and have a chance to sit and relax for a few minutes before your session. We have every client fill out a health history form and review your past injuries, surgeries and accidents. your therapist will talk with you about your expectations for the session, and what types of massage work you're interested in.  Depending on your reason for coming in, the intake communication may last from 5-15 minutes on your first session.  Your therapist will then leave the room and return once you are comfortably settled on the table. We’re here to help facilitate your health so we encourage an open dialogue with you to ensure you’re receiving the right amount of pressure in the areas most needed. Sometimes those areas are not the areas you feel discomfort. We also educate you on your areas of tightness, range of motion and provide an overview of your care after the session.

How Should You Dress? 

Wear comfortable clothing to your session.

We mainly use organic (unscented) jojoba oil (pronounced ho-HO-ba) as our massage oil. Jojoba oil is a botanical extract of the seed of the jojoba tree (Simmondsia chinenis). What’s interesting about it is that it isn’t actually an oil, but rather what they call a wax ester. Why do we care? Because out of all of the compounds in nature, this wax ester is the most similar to human skin oil (sebum). It is theorized that applying jojoba to the skin can “trick” the skin into thinking it is producing enough oil, thus balancing oil production. The bottom line for us is that jojoba oil is non-comedogenic so we can use it without fear. Our therapists also will occasionally use Sacred Earth Organic Massage Cream/Lotion - it's unscented, hypoallergenic and vegan.

We leave the room and ask that you undress to your level of comfort before getting under the sheets. During the session, we always drape/cover our clients to provide a high level of privacy.

How Long Do Sessions/Treatments Last? 
Beginning with your scheduled session start time, you will receive 30 to 120 minutes of work, depending on the session length you purchase.

Will Massage Therapy Hurt? 
We always communicate with you to determine the correct amount of pressure desired. During treatment work, we ask you to rate your discomfort on a 1-10 scale and maintain a therapeutic level of pressure below an 8. We want you to accept the work and not fight us so we can work together to resolve your symptoms. With deeper work, sometimes your muscles feel achy the next day. We recommend drinking lots of water!

How Do You Know If Massage Therapy Is Right For You? 
We specialize in soft-tissue work. That’s work on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. If you have pain patterns in any of these structures or if your pain is caused by any of these then massage therapy is often a helpful modality.

What Should You Look For In A Massage Therapist? 
Ask if they’re certified or licensed (each state is different), ask where they went to school and if they have at least 1000 hours of training. Do they have a business license and insurance to work in the state? Are they a member of a professional organization? Do they have advanced training, skills or experience with athletes, injuries or special modalities you’re looking for? Do they keep treatment notes after every session?

Why Do You Fill Out Health History Paperwork Before Your First Session? 
Health History paperwork provides a snapshot of your medical history. Often, this document leads us to ask better questions to help formulate a treatment plan specific for you. It also helps us see your medical history as it relates to your current discomfort. Even if you’re coming in to relax, it’s important for us to review this document with you before starting the session. You can find a copy of our “Health History Form” pdf on our website under “Forms”. Just print it, fill it out and bring it to your first session.

Why Do We Keep Treatment Notes For All Sessions? 
As part of your medical treatment team, it is very important for us to maintain (confidential) records of your treatments after each session. Our records are used to track progress and change treatment plans if needed. Further, these notes are important if you’re ever in an accident or working with other medical practitioners so we can provide an accurate description of your treatments, strategy and progress if ever requested (with your permission).

Are There Times When You Shouldn't Have A Massage?
There are some times when it’s best not to receive a massage. Specifically, if you’re sick or suffering from an illness where massage is contraindicated. We can discuss these contraindications with you and your doctor before scheduling your session with us.

How Is Our Style Different From Other Massages?
We blend a number of techniques and modalities that have been utilized with great success to produce fast results. Our sessions are educational and encourage you to embody your experience while on the table. You will understand what is causing your discomfort and will be educated on ways to prevent future discomfort and injury. We customize the session to meet your needs based on your intake form, treatment notes and complaints of the day and communicate our plan with you. We also incorporate stretches, basic exercises/strengthening programs, posture and biomechanics retraining can provide ultrasound or stim/TENS units if needed.

What Makes Us Different From Other Massage Wellness Facilities? 
Our level of education, experience and professionalism of the staff distinguishes us from other similar facilities. Also, we take great pride in the partnerships and collaborative efforts we have with other health and wellness professionals and sports teams & facilities.

What Are The Main Modalities That We Use?
Neuromuscular Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage, Myofascial Release, Structural Integration, Active Release Therapy, postural analysis and correction and Trigger Point Therapy. We blend all of these modalities into our own styles using our experience with physical therapists, chiropractors, orthopedists and professional athletes.

I Just Need To Decompress After A Stressful Week, I Don't Want A Deep Massage... Do You Provide Relaxation Treatments? 
Yes, by all means. At Athletic Edge you get the massage that you ask for. Not only do we provide the various forms of Medical and Sports Massage, we also provide relaxation therapies such as Swedish Massage and Aromatherapy Massage.

Should I Have A Massage If I'm Pregnant?
You can continue the same massage schedule you might have already been receiving, or start massage while pregnant. Yet, as with all medical conditions, please discuss massage therapy with your physician before seeking treatment.

Pregnancy can cause muscular changes in your body which might lead to different aches and pains that you have experienced before. Pregnant women often experience calf cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, gluteal/hip tension, swollen legs and feet, or they endure more stress than usual. Pre-natal massage therapy can help manage these uncomfortable changes and help you relax. Please always let the Athletic Edge receptionist and your therapist know exactly where you are in your pregnancy so that we can plan your treatment accordingly.

What If I Have To Cancel My Appointment?
If you need to cancel or change an appointment, please do so at least 48 hours in advance. If you booked online, we will issue a gift certificate credit for your payment, or a refund if requested, as long as your cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. Your credit card will be charged the full price of your scheduled service if you do not show for your appointment or call to reschedule or cancel within 24 hours of your designated time. If you scheduled a same day appointment and must then cancel or reschedule, you will still be charged the full price of your scheduled service, as it is less than 24 hours notice. We strictly adhere to our cancellation policy out of respect to our other clients.

How Does Massage Therapy Help Increase Athletic Performance? 
By increasing circulation, decreasing muscular tension and increasing joint range of motion your body moves more efficiently and with less effort thus increasing athletic performance.

How Long Will It Take For You To Get Results? 
While results vary for everyone, you’ll typically know if our treatments are working within 2 to 4 visits. If you’re new to massage, sometimes we release a lot of toxins in the first few visits so progress may take a little longer. We’ll continue to discuss your progress and goals to ensure you’re receiving the correct treatment.

Should I Have A Massage (Before/After) Intense Exercise? 

This will depend on the regularity of your massage visits. Please call Athletic Edge at (650) 815-6552 or E-Mail Us to discuss your specific situation.

If you're an athlete who is receiving sports massage on a regular basis (every other week or more), then your body is accustomed to massage as part of your training, and you may not need to be as cautious about your massage timing; we can see you at any time. We do not recommend deep tissue work within 24-48 hours of an event; your muscle structure develops during your training regime, and we wouldn't want to alter it dramatically before a major event.

If you're someone that does not get massage regularly (less than once a month), you should not likely have a Deep Tissue massage within a week before a big workout or event because the introduction of massage to your body may cause you to perform differently while in training.

For those newer to massage, it is most beneficial to allow time to let the benefits of massage take place in your body.  If you exercise after a massage, we recommend you focus on hydrating, stretching, and then do a lighter workout as opposed to a longer one.  Keep in mind, every body is different, so we can never know for sure how your body is going to react to a massage. We are as cautious as possible, and we will educate you about your options.

How Soon After An Injury Should I Come To Athletic Edge For Treatment? 

When you have a new injury, it's important to take care of it right away so that you don't let a new pattern in your body set in around that injury.  Your first action should be to get a medical diagnosis before treating the injury.

When using a massage for treatment, Athletic Edge has the most success when we work immediately with injuries to help prevent the soft tissue surrounding the injury from initiating a detrimental pattern. Of course, we will apply the appropriate techniques depending on the inflammation, pain level, phase of injury, and your needs.  As sports massage therapists, our goal is to help you through your injury and allow you a quicker recovery time.  Discuss your situation with us - call us today at (650) 815-6552 or E-Mail Us!

What Types of Injuries Does Athletic Edge Work With?  
(See Common Injuries We Treat)
Athletic Edge can help with almost any injury, however, success rates may depend on the phase of the injury, your body, your participation (through rest, stretching, strengthening) and work with other health professionals.  Massage therapists do not diagnose injuries, yet we can work off of a medical diagnosis or make hypotheses of our own based on our extensive experience.

Specific injuries that we work with - and have much success with are:

  • Plantar Fascitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Ankle Sprain/Strain
  • Shin Splints
  • Calf Strain
  • Pre/Post Knee Surgery
  • Hamstring Pull
  • Iliotibial Band Strain
  • Groin Pull (adductor strain)
  • Hip Flexor Strain
  • Gluteal Strains
  • Back Strain
  • Back pain, knots in back
  • Repetitive Strains
  • Wrist Sprain/Strain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfer's Elbow
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Neck Strains
  • TMJ Disorder (Jaw Pain)
  • Rehabilitation for muscles
  • And many more...

Do We Accept Insurance? 
No, not at this time. If you want to try and get reimbursed by your insurance provider, please book your session under "Orthopedic/Medical Massage," and we can provide you with an invoice/superbill style receipt that you can file with your provider for potential reimbursement. All insurance providers and plans vary, so we cannot guarantee that they will be able to provide you with reimbursement, you may want to call the number on the back of your insurance card and confirm benefits.
If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) your therapeutic massage may be tax deductible. And if your employer offers a Cafeteria Plan, your therapeutic massage may be reimbursable or covered! Talk to your plan administrator, then call us.

What Should I Expect At My First Medical/Injury Massage? 
A thorough review of your health & medical history, discussion about your symptoms or medical condition and how they may relate to your history, a rating of your symptoms on a pain scale from 1-10 and an outline of our treatment protocol (what you should expect while we’re working).

How Long Will It Take Me To Feel Results From The Massage? 

While results vary for everyone, you should know if this is the right place for you within 3-5 sessions.

Do We Work With Clients Recovering From Auto Accidents? 
Yes, we see quite a few at our offices. We are very familiar with whiplash injuries and other symptoms related to a motor vehicle accident and have therapists who specialize in treating auto accidents. We work closely with referring doctors and we have relationships with a number of attorneys for those requiring such services.

Why Athletic Edge? 
Our driving passion is to help people overcome pain and stay pain free. It is the cases where people have tried everything and had no success that really excite us, as we love a challenge and we have an outstanding success rate.

We believe that no one has to live with pain and therefore everyone should have access to quality treatment that gets them out of pain and keeps them that way. This is why we do what we do.

We understand that busy, professional people like you strive for the best in everything. When it comes to the treatment of injuries, or aches and pains, why should it be any different?

If you are tired of endless physical therapy sessions that are just guiding you through exercises and not really helping get you out of pain, or the ongoing chiropractic appointments that promise to fix everything as long as you keep coming back three times a week for the rest of your life, then try something that actually works and puts you and your health at the forefront and not the dollar.

We want to work with people who are proactive about their health, are active and want to maintain their health at an optimal level.

What makes us unique is that we understand your problems, so we can fix injuries and pain quickly. We are committed to providing you with the highest quality sports and muscle therapy services in the Bay Area. What separates us from your standard remedial massage, is our level of understanding, assessment, training and experience when it comes to pain and injury. Our use of unique techniques such as Active Release Techniques, Structural Integration, Fascial Manipulation, Myofascial Release, Neuromuscular Re-Education, Trigger Point Therapy and many more also give us an edge.

We believe that for you to get better, you need to understand what is going on, so we spend time to explain the mechanics of your injury. From there, we give you a clear outline and treatment plan, so your treatment won't drag on forever. Corrective exercises are also given to prevent these injuries from building up again.

We specialize in working with athletes of all levels, pain management and injury prevention/rehabilitation. We get results. If you've been searching for the right treatment for your soft tissue injuries, then your search ends here.

We are conveniently located in the heart of downtown Palo Alto.

We don't only treat injuries and pain, we can also deliver a great general remedial massage, which everyone can benefit from. Prevention is always better than cure, so having a regular remedial massage, active release techniques, sports massage, myofascial release, and maintenance structural integration session can keep pain and injuries at bay.

Our team is committed to delivering you the exact treatment you need, so we insure that the pressure is right, we work on the areas you need worked on. We are passionate about delivering you the best muscle therapy services that you can find. If you are looking for a treatment that is tailored to your specific needs, injuries, and personal preferences, then look no further.

All practitioners at Athletic Edge have at minimum at bachelors degree in sports medicine, are fully diploma qualified and licensed in the state of California, and have over 10 years of experience. With the variations in treatment styles, there is a treatment to suit everyone.

What Does The Company Need To Provide? 
You provide a room for us to work in, a place to put a sign-up sheet and a way to communicate with your employees (usually e-mail) to notify them when we’ll be onsite. We customize our plans to meet your needs and are open to discussing your needs and concerns to make this benefit right for you. The more participation there is by the employer, the more this benefit is utilized. We will also need an onsite person to coordinate with, and then we can take care of the rest.

Additional Benefits? 
Company Benefits:

  • Increases Employee Retention
  • Improves Productivity
  • Helps Recruit Talented Employees
  • Improves Job Satisfaction
  • Decreases Absenteeism

Employee Benefits:

  • Helps Prevent Repetitive Stress Injuries
  • Relieves Fatigue
  • Increases Employee Satisfaction
  • Improves Problem Solving
  • Strengthens Immunity