Sports massage uses hands-on techniques to manipulate the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the body. Sports massage works to improve the efficiency of the musculoskeletal system and is increasingly popular amongst elite sports performers. Sports massage has been proven to be effective for releasing and reducing tension in the muscles, improving circulation, encouraging the removal of waste products such as lactic acid and stimulating or suppressing nerve activity. Massage also helps to mentally prepare the athlete for the activity ahead. Massage can be effective for all stages of the athlete’s work, including preparation, training, competition and recovery. Massage also helps to relax the body after exercise, which can prevent injury. Sports massage is highly beneficial for those athletes who are prone to overuse injuries, as the muscles are allowed to relax and recover fully before the next exercise session. Examples of overuse injuries include golfer’s and tennis elbow and thrower’s shoulder. Sports massage can be extremely effective in preparing an athlete for exercise as well as a recovery aid. However, there are instances where massage can be detrimental. Massage is best avoided if the athlete is suffering from an illness or infection or has been diagnosed with a serious health condition such as cancer or hemophilia. Massage is usually not advisable for those who suffer from diabetes.