Unlike a full body massage, a sports massage generally focuses on specific muscle groups or problem areas - a tight shoulder or injured knee, for example.
A sports massage can be targeted towards either healing or prevention (or both.) You do not need to be a professional athlete to benefit from a sports massage, many people incorporate it into their regular health and fitness routines.
A sports massage focuses on the areas needing treatment and stimulates blood circulation and the circulation of the lymph fluids. (Lymph fluids aid in getting oxygen and nutrients to a tissue's cells and in removing their associated waste products.) It also helps to increase the flexibility of the muscles and joints in question.
A sports massage aids in the healing of muscles and tendons. It can address chronic pain and also help alleviate pain due to injuries like joint and muscle strains and sprains. A sports massage can also help prevent strains and injuries by helping you increase muscle flexibility and joint movement.