Sports Therapy & Sports Massage

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What is Sports Massage Therapy

Sports Therapy uses a variety of different massage techniques like sports massage, soft tissue mobilisation, soft tissue release and deep tissue massage. Myofascial release focuses more on the fascia and restoring normal length to it when restrictions occur. Joint mobilisation focuses on the joint and how it is functioning without muscle intervention. Neuromuscular techniques like trigger point therapy are beneficial for the nervous system and can stimulate or relax muscles. Muscle Energy Techniques can be used to restore normal length to the muscle or to stretch the muscle increasing its resting length.
Sports Therapy also looks at the tension distribution of the body. The areas that need stretching or strengthening can be seen through postural assessments, range of movement tests and muscle strength tests. Proprioception(the bodies awareness of where it is in space) also needs to be looked at as this effects balance and coordination . The aims of Sports Therapy are to make movements pain free, correct any muscle imbalances and improve posture and function.

– Payne Sports Therapy

My company is called Payne Sports Therapy based in Gatley and close to Cheadle, I provide Sports Massage Therapy and other variations like deep tissue massage and soft tissue massage. I pride myself on personalised, tailored treatment geared towards your individual circumstances. Identifying the source of the problem being the key and relieving of your pain. I also give advice on exercises to do, some guidelines on how to improve e.g the majority of people have weakness in the hips compared to the rest of their body and this can lead to pronation and IT band syndrome as well as core weakness. To prevent injuries from returning and to make the most out of your treatment it is important to do the given exercises and other tasks such as using ice or heat.

– Common muscle dysfunction

When People think of muscular pain they think of muscle knots(myofascial trigger points), a trigger point is a small area of contracted muscle that goes into spasm, it is one of the most common causes of muscular pain. The trigger point covers only a small area on the muscle, but the spasms of the trigger point lead to the blood supply being cut off to that point, and the waste product of muscle cells builds up( acidic). In a way it is like being poisoned in that small area and if left alone it wont recover, most likely it will lead to more trigger points.
Active Trigger Points hurt when pressed and refers pain around it and in other areas. It causes the muscle it is in to be weak and due to the taut bands, to have limited flexibility. The referral symptom may feel like a dull ache, deep, pressing pain, burning, or a sensation of numbness and fatigue. It can also cause sweating, tearing of eyes, Goosebumps and dizziness. The shortened muscles may compress and entrap nerves. If left alone other muscles around the dysfunctional one may be required to work harder, becoming over worked leading to secondary trigger points. Latent Trigger Points lie inactive in muscles, sometimes for years.
Latent trigger points are very common. Unless you press on the trigger point and feel the tenderness, you probably don’t know they are there. Latent trigger points may persist for years after apparent recovery from injury. Latent trigger points cause Restricted movement, abnormal muscle movement patterns, Stiffness and weakness of the affected muscle. They generally do not cause pain unless compressed. Many things can cause a trigger point to become active. An old injury that periodically re-surfaces may be due to latent trigger points “waking up” and becoming active when aggravated by muscle overload, a cold draft, fatigue, infection, illness, or stress.

-Common Sports Injuries

Muscle strains are very common,
they result from sudden movements of a joint beyond its end of range causing stretching, partial or complete tears . High/Heavy work loads placed on muscles can lead to strains as more control and energy is required. Fatigue is a big cause of strains as ordinary micro tears from exercise don’t get the time needed to recover, leaving the muscles stiffer and weaker. Posture or the muscles resting length is another big factor as a muscle that has too much length has reduced strength but so does a muscle that is too short, a shortened muscle will have less flexibility and may spasm when it tries to contract.
Strength training is a good preventative measure because it enables muscles to contract powerfully when the joint is in different positions and also increases flexibility. The lateral hamstring is often strained when sprinting and the erector spinae muscles of the lower back are often strained when bending and lifting incorrectly. Sports massage is useful for stimulating nerves and improving muscle function.
A sprain is a stretch and/or tear of a ligament, a strong band of connective tissue that holds a joint together. Ligaments stabilize and prevent unwanted movement in the body’s joints. The ankles, knees, and wrists are commonly sprained. Sprains are caused by sudden unprepared movements with high impact, such as sudden twisting of the torso or falling onto your wrist. many factors like posture and strength affect both strains and sprains. One way to differentiate a sprain from a strain is passive movements(somebody else holds and moves a joint through its range of motion, with no effort from the patient) if there is pain in passive movements it is likely to be joint or ligament damage.
Stress fractures are small cracks in bone, they occur from repetitive stress where the bone is not given time to recover or from sudden increases in activity( e.g going on a 10 mile run after a long time off with no gradual build up). Changes in activity can also mean a new type of stress is placed on the bone, which it needs time to adapt to (changing footwear can affect the amount of stress on a bone). High impact activities like running or jumping cause stress fractures. Muscle fatigue increases the chance of stress fractures happening as the muscles can no longer absorb the shock effectively and it is transferred to the bone. osteoblasts(bone building cells) work at an increased rate to strengthen bone after an activity, a lack of activity reduces the rate osteoblasts work and leads to weaker bones more susceptible to fractures and breaks. Gradually Increase walking/running distance and speed gradually, by no more than 10 percent per week, this guideline can apply to other types of activity .

-Common causes of sports injuries

-Overtraining: Overtraining or repetitive movements may be the top cause of sports injuries. Runners, swimmers and tennis players are susceptible to overuse injuries, including tennis elbow, tendinitis, shin splints and shoulder impingement.
-Rotations: Sports that require agility sudden stopping and changing direction – like basketball, gymnastics and football, have a high number of knee and ankle injuries. The stabilizing muscles, cartilage and other soft tissue around the knee, shoulder and other joints are prone to tearing from an uncontrolled twist or a sudden stop unless the muscles creating these movements are well trained.
-Falls/Accidents: Sudden impacts or collisions can lead to fractures or breaks , wrist sprains are common when falling. Training proprioception and coordination can help prevent falls.
-Inappropriate Equipment: using equipment too heavy for you can cause soft tissue damage . Loose fitting footwear with inadequate support/protection can cause Plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of your arch’s shock absorber.
-New or Increased Activity: Starting a new activity or increasing your level of activity too suddenly can result in strains, sprains and fractures. If you have started a new exercise or sport, previously unused muscles may be recruited or you may increase the work of other muscles. Soreness, cramps and discomfort can occur. Warmup before hand and gradually increase activity levels.
-Fatigue: Tired muscles are a common cause of muscle pulls. Rest days between activity is essential to preventing muscle pulls. The body is far less effective at protecting itself from injury as soft tissue is in the repairing phase, the nervous system is taxed and you are less alert.
-Poor Warmup: Muscle cramps and pulls are likely when rushing into an activity without properly easing the muscles into it. Warming up delivers blood and oxygen to the various muscles, allowing them to work more efficiently and make them more responsive to movements.
-Impact/hard or uneven surfaces: Hard impacts are another cause for injuries such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis. Hard and uneven surfaces cause a more jarring impact on an athlete’s feet, legs, hips and back. These types of surfaces are vital for developing strength and coordination in the ankle, but without preparation or recovery time can lead to serious injury. Softer surfaces can be used until ready to progress.
-Unilateral Movements: Some activities require certain movements by only one side of the body, you are working muscles on one side without doing equal work on the other. This can result in weaker muscles on the less active side, the most common cause of lower back pain and will negatively impact posture. The dominant side may suffer from overuse.
-Technique or Posture: Can cause imbalances and overloading some muscles without even distribution of tension.
-Primary injuries: when left untreated weaken the body and make it more susceptible to reinjure and secondary injuries e.g a hip injury causing a compensation pattern that leads to an ankle injury.

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