Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy
Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy is an extremely effective solution to help reduce aches, pains and discomfort caused from intense training programmes through to everyday activities. It is a great way to help increase range of motion and joint mobility, whilst maximising performance in sport, reducing the risk of injury and aiding with recovery.
Originally used in sport (hence the name) to help enhance athletic performance, prevent injury and aid with recovery. Sports Massage has now diversified into everyday life and is commonly used across a wide spectrum of individuals – ‘sporty’ or not. Everybody can benefit from Sports & Remedial Massage, from Semi-Pro Athletes, to office workers, builders and senior citizens.
Sports & Remedial Massage is a form of Manual Therapy which involves the manipulation of Soft Tissues (muscles, tendon, ligaments, joints and connective tissue.) It works by breaking down adhesions (commonly known as knots) and tension build up within tissue fibres to create newly realigned and reformed structures, enabling normal function to be restored. Massage techniques open up pores in muscle membrane, allowing an increased amount of blood supply carrying fresh oxygen and nutrients to pass through the tissue fibres, speeding up the healing process of Soft Tissues.
Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy uses a variety of Soft Tissue Therapy Techniques aside from the typical ‘massage’ strokes. It uses techniques such as Soft Tissue Release, Joint Mobilisation, Passive Stretching, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Stretching, Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) and Neuromuscular Techniques such as Trigger Point Therapy. The combination of techniques can be used during treatments to bring about different effects on the body, for example, pain reduction, muscular relaxation or increasing range of motion.
- Alleviates Aches, Pains and Discomfort
- Reduces Muscle Tension, Spams and Soreness
- Eases D.O.M.S (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- Increases Mobility and Flexibility
- Improves Joint Range of Motion (ROM)
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety
- Aids with Injury Prevention
- Speeds up Injury and Post Exercise Recovery
- Enhances Athletic Performance
- Improves overall Soft Tissue and Joint Health
- Facilitates with Toxin and Waste Product Removal
- Increases Lymphatic Drainage and Blood Flow
- Promotes a Better Quality of Sleep and Relaxation
Injury Therapy & Rehabilitation
Injury Therapy primarily looks at the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries and musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Is uses a wide variety of assessment techniques to prevent, treat and rehabilitate an injury or condition; whether it be acute or long-standing. It is a conventional ‘hand-on’ approach to correcting a problem or injury. Injury Therapy & Rehab uses a combination of Soft Tissue Therapy Techniques including Sports Massage, Medical Acupuncture, Kinesiology Taping, Correctional Exercises and Rehabilitation Programmes. These treatment techniques and rehabilitation exercises aim to get an individual back to optimum level of function, occupation and sports-specific fitness regardless of the age or ability.
Injury Rehabilitation can be used for sports and none sport-specific injuries; post orthopaedic surgery, chronic pain, postural imbalances and musculoskeletal disorders. It doesn’t matter whether an injury occurred whilst playing Ruby on the pitch, tripping down a curb whilst walking the dog, or falling down the stairs. The rehab protocols and treatment principles remain the same. You do not have to be ‘sporty’ to benefit from Injury Therapy and Rehab.
Sports Massage is very much a fundamental part of Injury Therapy & Rehab. The ‘massage’ part is where the majority of dysfunction within Soft Tissues are corrected. In many cases the vast amount of pain type symptoms can be alleviated using Sports Massage or Soft Tissue Therapy Techniques. The techniques used manipulate the Soft Tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and connective tissue) and break down tension build up and adhesions (knots) creating newly realigned and reformed structures, aiding with the healing process – leaving you feeling much better.
Medical Acupuncture / Dry Needling
What is Medical Acupuncture / Dry Needling (DN)?
It is a therapeutic modality used to treat musculoskeletal (MSK) complaints. It is a westernised adaptation of traditional Chinese medicine which encourages pain relief and promotes healing. It is used to relieve myofascial trigger points, increase range of motion, decrease muscular tightness, reduce pain and aid with recovery from injury.
How does it work?
It involves the insertion of one or several very fine stainless-steel needles (0.25mm) into muscles, tendons or ligaments using “dry needles” which pierce through the skin. The needles are placed into trigger points causing a “twitch response” which essentially relaxes the muscles and resets the neuromuscular (nerve and muscle) systems, resulting in pain and tension reduction, whilst stimulating a healing response. During this process fresh blood supply carrying oxygen, nutrients and hormones are released which flood the affected area to help speed up the healing process and flush away any unwanted toxins to further aids with recovery.
Is it safe and is it hygienic?
- It is very safe, and serious or harmful side effects are extremely uncommon.
- Only sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used.
- The area of insertion is cleaned before treatment using antibacterial disinfectant and gloves are worn when treatment takes place.
- In the event of bleeding, antibacterial disinfectant will be used to clean the area and a cotton pad / plaster will be applied.
- Licensing from the local authority has been granted to carry out this treatment.
- You should be aware of the possibility of incurring a pneumothorax (punctured lung) when inserting needles into the mid/upper back, but please note this is again incredibly rare and your practitioner is fully trained and experienced in the delivery of treatment.
Is it painful?
The needles are very fine (0.25mm) so the sensation felt is very mild and more of a discomfort – it is not like having an injection or blood test. The sensation varies from person to person, some feel a slight sharpness, others feel a sensation similar to a flick and some may feel nothing at all. You may feel a “twitch” in the muscle as the needles are inserted, this is a good sign and means that the needles are in the correct position. Once the needles have been inserted most sensations tend to subside.
Does it have any side effects?
As with all manual therapy treatments there are some side effects, you should be aware of the following:
- Drowsiness can occur in a small number of patients. You are advised not to drive if you feel tired.
- Euphoria can occur in a small number of patients. You are advised not to drive or make any important business / financial decisions if you experience this sensation.
- Minor bleeding or bruising can occur around the area of insertion.
- Discomfort is common but pain is not. You should make your practitioner aware if you feel any overwhelming pain.
- Existing conditions will likely get worse before improving as with other manual therapy treatments. You should inform your practitioner if your condition worsens after a few days following treatment.
- Fainting is not unheard of particularly after the first treatment.
- If there are any specific risks or side effects that apply to your complaint, then your practitioner will discuss this with you prior to treatment commencing.
What should I tell my practitioner before treatment?
A full medical history will be taken prior to treatment commencing and you will have been asked to fill out an initial consent form detailing any medical conditions, but please inform your practitioner if you suffer from any of the following:
- If you have ever fainted, had a fit, or experienced a ‘funny turn’.
- If you have a pacemaker or any other electrical implants.
- If you have a bleeding disorder (haemophilia).
- If you are taking any anti-coagulants or any other medication i.e. warfarin.
- If you have any areas of skin where you experience altered sensation such as numbness or tingling.
- If you have any damaged heart valves or are at particular risk of infection.
- If you are currently pregnant.
Dry Needling (DN) vs Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA) – What is the difference?
Dry Needling also known as Medical Acupuncture is a westernised adaptation to TCA and is used to treat pain and dysfunction associated with the body’s soft tissues – muscles, tendons and ligaments. Is it used to deactivate trigger points which cause pain, and stimulates a healing response to promote recovery from trauma or injury. In the UK Medical Acupuncture or DN is practised by Healthcare Professionals and is generally regarded as part of conventional medicine, which is very much evidenced based.
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA) is predominantly used to treat pathological conditions (diseases) which can affect single organs or the body as a whole. TCA is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruption or blockages to the flow of energy (meridians) known as ‘qi’ in the body and places emphasis on ancient beliefs of ‘yin’ ‘yang’. Chinese Acupuncture stimulates points on or under the skin and is believed to release the blocked energy so that normal function can be restored. It is a well-practised treatment modality used world-wide which has been around for thousands of years, approved and loved by many.
Injury Strapping & Taping
Pre-Competition & Injury Strapping
The principle behind Pre-Competition & Injury Strapping is to provide support to weakened areas of the body, allowing Athletes to continue performing with minimum amount of discomfort. Using tape and adhesive bandaging attached to the skin in order to physically keep joints, ligaments and muscles in a certain position; helps prevent movement and reduces stress through the weakened area. It can also be used as a great tool to help rehabilitate an injury during its acute stage of recovery.
Kinesiology tape, Kinesio tape or K tape refers to a very thin, stretchy, cotton fabric which is non-medicated and latex free – making it friendly on the skin! It is designed to relieve muscle strain or acute injury causing discomfort. It is used to help reduce inflammation, swelling and bruising; increase lymphatic drainage and blood flow, reduce pain and discomfort, helps restore normal muscle function, promotes proprioception, and acts as an aid to help support muscles and joints without restricting range of motion. Applied correctly it should last multiple days and withstand athletic activity and showering without coming off. It works by pulling up the dermal layers of skin and Fascia (connective tissue), changing the structures of the fascial lines which allows an increased amount of blood, oxygen and nutrients supply to pass through the soft tissues – helping with recovery. It can benefit people of all ages, professions and sporting abilities and it comes in lots of pretty colours to suit everybody (although there are actually no physical differences between the coloured tapes.)
Strapping or Taping may be applied in all sessions (free of charge) when deemed necessary, alternately you can book a separate 15 minute session for just £10.
Injury Assessment & Advice
Offering Injury Assessment and Advice for acute injuries that require a speedy recovery – suited to everybody. It’s the chance to talk about an injury, assess it, and advise on how best to manage it, without having to commit to a full treatment session.
You may have sprained an ankle at the weekend or picked up a shoulder injury whilst on the pitch. Maybe you had a fall at home, or a sudden awkward movement at work and you are now struggling to move. This session aims to give you an honest, professional opinion with regards to what you need to do to help.
This is not a treatment session, but instead a chance to get an injury seen to as quickly as possible so that you have the right care and advice to affect your rehabilitation process. It may also mitigate the need to see a Doctor or travel to the hospital in the first instance.
Aftercare & Exercises
Whether you have an acute injury, long-standing issue or just a simple ‘niggle’ it is important to carry the correct stretching, mobility and strengthening exercises to help repair and rebuild soft tissues in order to help correct a problem or injury. This will enable Patients to return to functional activities and allow a safe recovery from injury, whilst preventing reoccurrence. This is why all Patients get prescribed bespoke home exercise programmes which are targeted to their needs, along with some useful information sheets and helpful aftercare advice. I use a leading industry exercise prescription software designed by Physiotherapist to carefully put together exercise programmes for Patients. The software includes a user-friendly interface, with helpful video content and explanations of how to complete exercises correctly.