In different sports, the range of motion that an athlete has in specific joints can act as a limiting factor in their performance and affect their risk of injury. For example a swimmer needs flexible shoulders, a runner can achieve a longer stride with more flexible hips and knees, and a football player would benefit from flexibility in the hips.
Targeted massage techniques can allow the muscles specific to the joint to be treated. The therapist may use techniques such as assisted stretching and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) to work directly on the specific muscles of a joint causing the limitation in range of motion. The therapist may also suggest specific stretches that target the relevant muscles.