Sadie O'Brien


On this leaflet will be information about contraindications in sports massage. I will pick six contraindications and describe and explain them in detail. On each one I will give an insight of why these are important contraindications and why sports massage affects it.


This is a red flag which means you cannot massage the person at all, the reason for this is because it can spread through the lymphatic system, and because massage increases lymphatic circulation, it may potentially spread the disease as well. Even if the cancer is in the stomach and they know that, you’re still not allowed to massage at all because they might not know for sure if that is the only place they have cancer. Also if they do massage the body they could potentially spread the cancer around the body and make it a lot worse than it already is. Techniques that can break the cancer up are hacking, cupping, pounding and beating, these are tapotments and these can break the cancer up by the vibrations they would be causing the body.


There are many changes that happen to a woman's body during pregnancy. She produces more blood, has an increased tendency for edema, also that she is easily fatigued and begins to experience a wide range of aches and pains. Pregnancy disrupts normal blood circulation. Because of the risk of dislodging a blood clot during massage, with pregnant woman it’s a red flag again meaning not to massage the person at all. This is because in women it’s a risk of pre-term labor. The first trimester is the most dangerous stage of pregnancy to get massaged, this is because the baby is unstable. There are also other things that might go wrong such as if they are getting a massage close to the date they are going to give birth there is a chance there waters might brake and start to come into labour, but this doesnt have to be near there due date this could really occur at anytime during the pregnancy.

Skin conditions

You should avoid anything that looks like it shouldn't be there, such as rashes, wounds, bruises, burns, boils, and blisters. Usually these problems are local, so the massage can be performed in other areas. Skin conditions can go from rashes, wounds, bruises, burns, boils, and blisters, for example. Usually these problems are local, so you can still massage in other areas. Massage could make skin conditions worse and spread them more and more around the body also with some skin conditions you can start to get them as well from massaging someone with them.

Fractured area

If the area is fractured or broken where the bone isn’t in a stable condition then this is classed as a red flag meaning you cannot massage this area under any circumstances. If you did massage this area or massaged at all while the body is in a unstable condition then you would make it worse without even knowing. Even if the area isn’t painful at that time and the client is happy for you to massage the area it is classed as a red flag which means you shouldn’t do it at all because it is unsafe. We dont massage any fractured area because this could cause pain to the person even if they think that it will be okay to massage but when starting it beings to hurt or even if it doesnt hurt during the massage but starts to hurt afterwards. Also if we do massage this could also affect the healing process, it can rather slow it down or stop it all together.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure can be in either flag depending on how bad your blood pressure is. If it is really high to the point where you struggle to do things etc. then this would be classed as red but if you feel okay and can still do everything normally but your blood pressure is just high then this would be in the yellow flag area. But it will always be a contraindication and be in a flag. High blood pressure means excessive pressure against blood vessel walls. Massage affects the blood vessels, and so people with high blood pressure or a heart condition should receive light, sedating massages, if at all. High blood pressure is a common disorder in which blood pressure remains abnormally high, the influence of massage is that when we do thumb kneading we are warming up the area bringing blood to the surface of the skin, also doing this is gets rid of all the waste and bad toxins in your body and increasing endorphins in your body so making yourself happier and releasing stress and anxiety.

Multiple sclerosis

You can get different varieties of this so again if it’s bad then it will be a red flag and if it isn’t so bad then it will be a yellow flag. Even if it is a yellow flag you need to take really good care of the client and always make sure they are comfortable about what they’re doing. The reason you can’t massage some with this disease is because it affects the joints and muscles in the body and if you do try and massage them then you could possibly make it worse.