Sports & Orthopaedic Massage Course Level 4 Certificate

ITEC Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy (Irish level 6)

iUSP 151 – Conducting Subjective and Objective Assessment
iUSP 193 - Treatment Modalities to Support Soft Tissue Repair
iUSP 157 - Sports Massage Techniques to Prevent and Manage Injury

Pre-requisite: Diploma in Holistic, Swedish or Sports Massage or equivalent

Holistic College Dublin offers the most comprehensive, cutting edge sports massage program in Ireland. This course teaches a multidisciplinary, pain free, approach to deep tissue body work and the treatment of sports injuries. We are very proud to be the first college in Ireland to offer a combined Sports and Orthopaedic Massage training program. Our course exceeds the requirements of our awarding body, I.T.E.C. and introduces the concepts, special tests and techniques used in Orthopaedic Massage practice.

This exciting new qualification will progress the massage therapist’s understanding from general relaxation massage to being able to pinpoint and release restrictions in a variety of soft tissues. Active, Passive and Resisted tests will evaluate the nature, severity, area of injury and the type of tissue involved. Advanced techniques are then used to release myofascial restrictions and Neuro-Muscular trigger points, treat any disorganised collagen, restore normal resting tone and joint mobilization to re-establish joint mobility.

Swords Starting Date: Saturday 30th September 2023

Times:  Thursday 7pm - 10pm and two Saturdays per month 10am - 5pm

Course Fee: €2200 + Exam Fee: €110

Total cost: €2310

Pay in Full Discount: Pay the balance in full on or before the first day of your course to avail of a €100 discount.

The advanced techniques used in Sports Massage include:

  • Connective Tissue Massage (CTM)
  • Soft Tissue Release (STR)
  • Neuro-Muscular Technique (NMT)
  • Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
  • Positional release and strain/counter strain
  • Myofascial Massage
  • An introduction to Orthopaedic Massage techniques

Training will focus on precise testing, treatment and rehabilitation exercises for:

  • Legs - Shin Splints, Plantar Fasciitis, Compartment Syndrome and Calcaneal Bursitis
  • Thigh - I.T. Band Syndrome (Runner’s Knee), Chondromalacia Patella, Adductor and Hamstring Strains
  • Back - Chronic back ache (Lumbago)
  • Shoulder - Rotator Cuff Injuries and Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen shoulder)
  • Neck - Torticollis & Whiplash
  • Forearm - Medial Epicondylitis, Lateral Epicondylitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Unique to this course:

  • Cutting edge treatment of Sprains and Strains, and differentiating between Tendonitis, Tendonosis and simple tendon pain.
  • Concise information on Active, Passive and Resisted testing. What these tests tell the therapist about the clients injury and what constitutes a positive test for each sports injury.
  • Recognising common patterns of muscle imbalance
  • Effective rehabilitation - strengthening exercises using resistance bands on weak muscles and stretching of overused tense muscles using the Mattes Method of Active Isolated Stretching
  • HCD superior quality presentation
    • Full Colour Photographic Presentations
    • Video Presentations
    • 3D Graphics

This treatment has proven to be very successful in the rehabilitation of both recent and long standing, chronic injuries. It is also of great benefit to non-sports people, increasingly referred to as ‘occupational athletes’ who develop restricted range of motion and pain from repetitive movements, poor posture and sedentary lifestyles.

Training also includes the use of Sports Massage in pre and post event situations, injury prevention, corrective and conditioning treatments.

Course Syllabus:

  • Definition and detailed descriptions of techniques used in Sports Massage
  • Preparation and equipment for Sports Massage
  • Techniques for
    • Preventative / conditioning massage
    • Treatment of injuries / corrective massage
  • Understanding the appropriate type of massage movement to use in relation to the client’s condition
    • Effleurage, Petrissage, Percussion, Frictions and Vibrations
    • Connective Tissue Massage (CTM)
    • Myofascial Massage
    • Soft Tissue Release (STR)
    • Neuro-Muscular Technique (NMT)
    • Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
    • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
  • Postural assessment
    • Body alignment, which muscles are indicated when misalignment is present
    • Muscle balance
    • Gait assessment
    • Range of motion
  • Palpation and physical assessment
    • Active, Passive and Resisted testing
    • Degree of swelling
    • Variation in tissue temperatures
    • Muscle tone and bulk
    • Palpation of taught bands and Neuro-Muscular Trigger points
    • Adhesions
    • Previous injuries to the area
    • Signs and symptoms of inflammation
  • Rehabilitation exercises
    • Effects and benefits of stretching
    • Advantages of Active Isolated Stretching
    • Restoring muscle balance
    • Use of resistance bands for strengthen training
  • Thermotherapy and Cryotherapy
    • Effects and benefits
    • Methods of application
    • Contraindications
    • Contrast bathing
  • Skeletal System
    • Structure and function of joints
    • Bony landmarks
    • Range of motion
  • Muscular System
    • Origin, insertion and action of the superficial and deep muscles of the body
    • Muscle fibre types
    • Sliding filament theory
    • Energy systems – Aerobic, Anaerobic and Creatine phosphate system
  • Common Sports injuries
  • Care of the Client:
    • Record Keeping
    • Taking a case history
    • Monitoring treatment outcomes
    • Home care
  • Care of the Therapist:
    • Postural awareness and appropriate use if body mechanics
    • Joint alignment
    • Self treatment and stretching
    • Diet and nutrition
  • Contra indication to Sports Massage
    • Conditions that restrict treatment either locally or totally
    • Conditions requiring medical permission

Examinations and Certification

  • Certificate awarded by ITEC


Diploma in Holistic, Swedish or Sports Massage or equivalent

Cost of Course

Course Fee: €2200

Exam Fee: €110


iUSP 151 – Conducting Subjective and Objective Assessment
Treatment evidence
5 treatment evidence forms covering analysis of posture, range of movement, muscle testing, functional testing and Orthopaedic testing

iUSP 193 - Treatment Modalities to Support Soft Tissue Repair
Assignment/Essay - Research and Critically Evaluate a Variety of Modalities to Support Soft Tissue Repair

iUSP 157 - Sports Massage Techniques to Prevent and Manage Injury
a) Treatment evidence - Evidence of 5 treatments
b) Practical exam: 1 hour

Holistic College Dublin results in level 4 Sports Massage exams 2020

The diploma issued by ITEC  lists the student's overall grade in terms of a pass, credit or distinction. An average of the theory and practical marks is combined to obtain the final grade.

A pass grade is between 60% - 74%, A merit is between 75% - 89% and a distinction is between 90% - 100%.

Percentage of our students achieving each grade to date in 2022

Fail           Pass             Merit            Distinction


0%               0%                50%                 50%

Each Student Requires

  • 2 Pillows
  • 2 Pillow Cases
  • 2 Towels
  • Shorts
  • A uniform is required for the practical examination:
    • Black polo shirt
    • Black tracksuit bottoms
    • Black footwear

Recomended Books & Apps

  • The Concise Book of Muscles - By Chris Jarmey

Payment Plan:

  • Deposit of €600
  • 1st Instalment of €435
  • 2nd Instalment of €425
  • 3rd Instalment of €425
  • 4th Instalment of €425
-to secure your place on the course *Pay Deposit Now
- due on the first day of the course
- due in Oct
- due in Nov
- due in January 2024

Times & Dates

Starting Date: Saturday 30th September 2023 - Completion Date: Saturday 17th February 2024

Times: Thursday evenings, 7pm - 10pm and approximately two Saturdays per month, 10am - 5pm

2023 September
October November December




5th, 12th, 19th, 26th

14th, 28th

2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

11th, 25th

7th, 14th


2024 January February


4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

6th, 20th

1st, 8th, 15th

3rd, 17th

Final exams will be held in March 2024

Book your place