At Core Body Clinic Sports massage is carried out by both sports mssage therapists and the physiotherapists. As physiotherapists it is one of our core tools for dealing with for sports and general injury. We use it to keep athletes in tip top form when training for or recovering from an event, and it's excellent for those general aches and pains! In the Thames Valley we see a lot of patients who are suffering with a desk or computer related neck or back problem and we see a number of runners suffering from ITB syndrome (illiotibial band) or piriformis syndrome. At Core Body Clinic we also use massage therapy for stubborn or acute Sciatica where nerve irritation leads to the tensing of muscles and the development of trigger points.
The act of massage describes the contact of the therapists hands on the skin with the delivery of specific and therapeutic strokes. The firmness of the stroke and direction are dependant on symptoms, muscle form and injury type. The aim of massage is to relieve pain, promote healing and help with the recovery from exercise by removal of waste metabolites. Massage can also be used to great effect when training for a sporting event to optimise performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Physiotherapists and massage therapists are one of the best professionals to consult for a sports massage because their training and understanding of anatomy and dysfunction enables a unique approach to massage as a therapy. Sports Massage Therapists are different to Physiotherapists because physio's can also diagnose and determine if massage is the best therapy for your condition. Physiotherapists may also compliment this treatment with manipulation, other soft tissue techniques and Dry needling to enhance the outcome of treatment.
We recommend seeing the Physiotherapists if you are in pain or if your pain is referring into the legs, if you have sciatica, pins and needles or you are experiencing night pain.
How Does it Work?
Physiotherapists use massage for removal of waste metabolites from muscle and is thought to physiologically optimise cellular respiration and therefore have a positive on injury and training recovery. However, the application of 'touch' also stimulates the release of pain relieving endorphins which flood the nervous system with pain inhibiting chemicals. The release of endorphins reduces the sensitivity of muscle spasm and therefore enhances the extensibility of muscle tissue. At Core Body Clinic our Physiotherapists will use sports massage as an adjunct to treatment. Regular massages can be really helpful for reducing and managing stresses and strains. However, if you are having regular massages with little resolution then it is best to find out why and get the problem diagnosed by a physiotherapist. Why a physio?
There are a number of different massage techniques all directed at achieving the same things - relief of pain and enhancing performance! See below.
Other Massage techniques:
- Myofascial release
- Strain Counter Strain
- Trigger point therapy
- Acu pressure
- Muscle Energy
- Combined Pressure release
The exact technique utilised will be dependant on the symptoms and nature of the problem that you are presenting with. This is the primary reason that it is best dealt with by a professional trained in massage, like a physiotherapist.
How Does it Feel?
Is sports massage painful? Not exactly. But we know some people prefer a firm amount of pressure! So if it isnt doing the job - just speak up!
Muscle ‘tightness’ is often a symptom so if the therapist is going too hard the muscle will react and become even more taut. The strokes will often be firm and in multiple directions. The intensity should be guided by the patient and the therapist should respond according to feel and patient feedback. Endorphins are sedatives and for this reason it is typical to feel tired after treamtent. Some patients may feel sore and even stiff the following day. Soreness may last upto a day and is relieved by gentle exercise.
Tigger point therapy will feel like increasing firm pressure along with reduced symptoms. If pain from pressure does not reduce then it is likely the problem is not amenable to tigger point therapy.
Combined pressure release is a technique that uses trigger point mobilisation along with active or passive movement of a limb. The pressure or pain from the therapists application should reduce through the treatment and not increase symptoms. This type of therapy has the advantage of increasing muscle and joint range while reducing painful 'knotts' in a muscle. It is particularly good for training because it maximises joint range and muscle extensibility and may therefore enhance performance.
Will it help my condition?
- Back pain
- Trapped nerve
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- ITB syndrome
- Piriformis syndrome
- Sports performance
- Tight muscle
- Achey body
- After exercise
- To help with training.