Blog - Lucas Massage Therapy

19

Apr

Groin strain

As with any strain, groin strain (also known as rider’s strain) is a stretch or tear of any or all of the adductor muscles of the inner thigh or their tendons. Hockey, football, tennis and other sports that require pivoting and quick direction changes are the most common activities for groin pulls. These injuries range from simple stretching of the muscles to more severe tearing of the fibres. As with other strains it is graded 1 through to 3 with 3 being the most severe tear.

Due to this location and function, athletes involved in sports where the leg is moved forcefully inward or outward are more susceptible to this injury. Damage is usually to the musculo-tendinous junction, about 5 cm from the pubis.

Cause of injury

Forceful stretching of the adductor muscles of the hip. Forceful contraction of the adductor muscles. When sprinting or kicking a ball, for example – or by sudden changes in direction, which can occur in a range of sports. Overuse of the adductor muscles can lead to inflammation in the groin (adductor tendinitis).

Signs and symptoms

Grade 1: Mild pain. Stiffness in the adductor muscles but little or no effect on athletic performance. 

Grade 2: More painful. Some swelling, tenderness, limited range of motion, pain when walking or jogging.

Grade 3: Very painful. Significant swelling, pain with weight bearing, sometimes pain at rest or at night.

Complications if left unattended

Untreated groin strains can lead to an awkward gait and chronic pain that could lead to injuries in other areas. A minor muscle tear could become more severe and eventually tear completely.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Anti-inflammatory medication. For a Grade 3 strain it may be necessary to seek a medical evaluation.

Rehabilitation and prevention

After initial treatment, minor strains will respond to a gradual stretching and strengthening programme. More serious strains will require additional rest and a slow entry back into activities with extra warm-up activities before each session.

Prevention of groin strain requires warming-up properly before activities, stretching for good flexibility in the abductor muscles, adductor muscles, abdominals and hip flexors for good muscular balance.

Long-term prognosis

Most groin strains will heal with no lasting effects. Only the most severe strains, with complete tears, require surgical correction.

 

 

 

08

Apr

Deep Tissue Therapy Watford

 

The heart of the integrated deep tissue system is, naturally, deep tissue therapy. Many varying styles of deep tissue therapy have been developed over the years, but some characteristics are common to all of them. The primary function of deep tissue therapy  is to reduce the level of stress imposed on the body by chronically shortened muscles. This is accomplished by applying a combination of slow compressive and lengthening procedures to the involved musculature.

As the soft tissues of the body are realigned and balance is returned to the skeleton, much less strain is imposed on the nervous system. This results in better posture and freer movement, which greatly reduce the risk of injury. Coordination is also improved. Minimizing strain around joints reduces the incidence of osteoarthritis and the possibility of ligament tears as well, and reducing the amount of energy used in holding chronically contracted muscles increases the overall level of vitality and promotes clearer thinking. All the body’s systems benefit from having more metabolic energy available to fuel them.

Purpose of Deep Tissue Therapy

Deep tissue therapy  is designed to return the body to a state of ease and balance by eliminating the uneven pulls on the skeleton caused by contracted muscles and constricted fascia. Muscular strain in the body may be assessed by watching how a person stands and moves. Manual testing of the degree of movement available at the joints also aids in determining which muscles are shorten or contracted. After recognizing the patterns of muscular distortion, the deep tissue therapy systematically release the shortened muscles and stretches the constricted fascia to re-establish freedom of movement of the bones.

 

01

Apr

Shin splints

Shin splints are a common complaint of runners and other athletes who have just taken up running. Shin splints is a term used to cover all pain in the anterior shin area but there are several possible causes. Medial tibial pain syndrome, the most common cause of shin pain, refers to pain felt over the shin bone from irritation of the tendons that cover the shin and their attachment to the bones. Changes in duration, frequency or intensity of running can lead to this condition.

When the muscle and tendon becomes inflamed and irritated through overuse or improper form, it will cause pain in the front of the shin. Repetitive pounding on the lower leg, such as with running, can also lead to pain in the shin.

Cause of injury

Repetitive stress on the tibialis anterior muscle leading to inflammation at its bony attachment to the tibia. Repetitive impact forces on the tibia, as with running and jumping.

Signs and symptoms

Dull, aching pain over the inside of the tibia. Pain is worse with activity. Tenderness over the inner side of the tibia with possible slight swelling.

Complications if left unattended

If left unattended, shin splints can cause extreme pain and cause cessation of running activities. The inflammation can lead to other injuries including compartment syndrome.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Anti-inflammatory medication. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

Rehabilitation and prevention

It is important to use low-impact activities,such as swimming or cycling, to maintain conditioning levels while recovering. Stretching tibialis anterior will aid recovery. To prevent this condition from developing try alternating high-impact activity days with lower-impact days. It is also important to strengthen the muscles of the lower leg to help absorb the shock of impact activities.

Long-term prognosis 

Medial tibial pain syndrome can be effectively treated with no long-term effects. Only in rare cases does the condition fail to respond to rest and rehabilitation, leading to chronic inflammation and pain. Surgery may be required in those rare cases.

 

25

Mar

Achilles Tendon Pain

Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles tendon crosses the black of the heel, which means it rides over the bone as the muscle contracts and stretches. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon can be very painful; all of the body’s weight is supported by this structure and footwear often presses against this area. Repetitive stress to the tendon can lead to inflammation that causes additional irritation and further inflammation.

Activities such as basketball, running, volleyball and other running and jumping sports can lead to Achilles tendinitis.

Repetitive contraction of the muscles in the calf and improper footwear or excessive pronation of the feet can lead to inflammation in the tendon.

Cause of injury

Repetitive stress from running and jumping activities. Improper footwear or awkward landing pattern of the foot during running. Untreated injuries to the calf or Achilles tendon.

Signs and symptoms

Pain and tenderness in the tendon. Swelling may be present. Contraction of the calf muscle causes pain; running and jumping may be difficult.

Complications if left unattended

Inflammation in the tendon can lead to deterioration of the tendon and eventual rupture if left untreated. Inflammation may lead to tightening of the tendon and attached muscle which could lead to tearing.

Immediate treatment

Rest, reducing or discontinuing the offending activity. Ice. Anti-inflammatory medication. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

Rehabilitation and prevention

After a period of rest, usually lasting 5-10 days, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can be initiated. Heat may be used on the tendon before activity to warm-up, along with strengthening and stretching exercises for the calves, will help prevent tendinitis of the Achilles tendon.

Long-term prognosis

Tendinitis seldom has lingering effects if treated properly. Tendinitis may take from five days to several weeks to heal but rarely needs surgery to repair it.

18

Mar

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

 

Rotator cuff tendinitis results from the irritation and inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles in the area underlying the acromion. The condition is sometimes known as pitcher’s shoulder though it is a common injury in all sports requiring overhead arm movements, including tennis volleyball, swimming and weightlifting.

Massage for Rotator Cuff

Local massage is indicated in the subacute stage to increase circulation to the surrounding tissues, reduce edema, break up fascial adhesions or scar tissue, and to reestablish range of motion to the joint affected.

Cause of injury

Inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons from tennis, baseball, swimming etc. Irritation of the subacromial bursa of the rotator cuff causing inflammation and swelling in the subacromial space. Pre-existing disposition including anatomical irregularity.

Signs and symptoms

Weakness or pain with overhead activities, such as brushing hair, reaching up etc. Popping or cracking sensation in the shoulder. Pain in the injured shoulder, particularly when lying on it.

Complications if left unattended

Rotator cuff tendinitis can worsen without attention as the tendons and bursa become increasingly inflamed. Motion becomes more limited and tendon tears can cause further and in some cases chronic pain. Prolonged irritation may result in the production of bone spurs which contribute to further irritation.

Immediate treatment

Application of ice and use of anti-inflammatory medication. Discontinue all athletic and other activity causing rotator cuff pain. Then heat to promote blood flow and healing. 

Rehabilitation and prevention

Following rest and healing of the injured shoulder, physical therapy should be undertaken to strengthen the muscle of the rotator cuff. Occasionally steroid injections are required to reduce pain and inflammation. Moderation of rotator cuff use, adequate recovery time between athletic activities and strength training can all help avoid the injury.

Long-term prognosis

Given proper rest as well as physical therapy and ( where needed) steroidal injections, most athletes enjoy a full recovery from this injury. Should a serious tear of the rotator cuff tissue occur, surgery may be required although recovery to pre-injury levels of activity is usually expected.

 

 

14

Mar

Plantar Fasciitis Massage Watford

 

 

Massage is beneficial for plantar fascities. By reducing muscle tension, especially in the lower leg, increasing circulation, and by softening and stretching the collagen fibers in the fascia, massage can reduce the discomfort of plantar fasciitis as well as help the condition heal.

The plantar fascia stretches along the base of the foot between the calcaneus (heel) and the distal ends of the metatarsals. Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition of the plantar fascia that can result when it is overused, stressed, or injured. People generally feel more discomfort upon getting out of bed in the morning or after the foot has been immobile for a period of time, and the sole of the foot is often most tender just anterior to the calcaneus. There is some disagreement as to whether this is an inflammatory or degenerative condition, so treatments are understandably different. It is common to see a bone spur on the anterior edge of the calcaneus in x-rays of people who have plantar fasciitis, but it is not clear whether the bone spur caused or was caused by the fascial pain. 

It is important for supporting the longitudinal arch of the foot, as a point of muscle attachment and for cushioning the bones of the foot. Repetitive ankle movement, especially when restricted by tight calves, can irritate the plantar fascia at the calcaneus. Pain is usually felt in the heel especially upon rising from an extended rest. Walking or running, especially on hard surfaces and with tight calf muscles, make an athlete more susceptible to this injury. High or fallen arches and incorrect footwear can also lead to plantar fasciitis.

Cause of injury

 Running on hard surface. Improper or ill-fitting footwear. Arch problems. Training errors. Overuse. Over-pronation. Poor flexibility of the calf muscles (gastrocnemius, soleus and plantaris) and Achilles tendon.

Signs and symptoms

Pain under the heel which is worse after exercise or when rising from an extended rest. Pain may diminish during exercise but return after the activity is stopped.

Complications if left unattended

Plantar fasciitis that is left unattended can lead to chronic pain that may cause a change in walking or running gait. This in turn can lead to knee, hip and lower back problems.

Immediate treatment

Rest. Ice. Ultrasound. Anti-inflammatory medication. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Stretching the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia will help speed recovery and prevent recurrence. A special orthotic or insert for the shoe may be required at the beginning of the return to activity. Strengthening the muscles of the lower leg will also serve to protect the fascia and prevent this condition.

Long-term prognosis

Most people with plantar fasciitis recover completely after a few weeks to a few months of treatment. Injections of corticosteroid may be necessary in cases where the fascia doesn’t respond to early treatment.

 

 

11

Mar

Book massage online Watford

 

DO YOU HAVE TIGHTNESS OR PAIN IN YOUR MUSCLES?

ARE YOU INJURED, STRESSED OR TIRED?

Book massage online Watford

 

FEEL BETTER – MOVE BETTER – BE PAIN FREE

SPORTS & REMEDIAL / DEEP-TISSUE MASSAGE

Offers full range of Sports Massage and Deep-Tissue Massage Watford

 

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09

Mar

massage history

 

 

Throughout thousands of years and a myriad of cultures, people have used massage for communication, relieving pain or discomfort, healing, protecting, or improving one’s overall health. Most people have experienced the instinctive or intuitive use of massage when stopping to rub or hold an injury, bruise or area of discomfort on the body.

Historical references to massage have been found in cultures around the world. To better comprehend that massage is found in many cultures, you can examine the different terms used to describe the same or similar activity. Even cultures without written language have passed down the tradition of massage and techniques, shown by the notes of early explorers who discovered these native peoples. 

In the most primitive civilizations, medicine was ritualistic and oftentimes combined with magical or from demons, spirits, or sins. Shamans and priests used massage, among other practices, to help rid people of these evil entities. The spiritual and medical traditions were passed on from generation to generation, perpetuating the practice of massage. Evidence of this is found everywhere from Australia to Africa, including ancient Egypt, to the Pacific Island, Russia and the Ukraine, and North and South America.

Ancient civilizations used massage in conjunction with many variations of water therapy to cleanse and purify the body of disease-causing spirits, bathing, steam rooms, hot springs, and sweat lodges. These rituals that combined massage with water therapies persisted throughout history and still exist today.

Massage in Ancient Greece

The Greek health regimen included exercise, massage, fresh air, rest, diet, and cleanliness. Exercise and competitive athletics were so much a part of the culture that the Olympic Games were held every four years as part of a religious festival. These games were very important to the Greeks, who even stopped wars to compete in them. Physical training was critical to good performance, giving rise to gymnasiums all over their academic, art, and physical training at the gymnasiums. In time, the baths and gymnasiums served the general public as social, spiritual, mental, and physical gathering places.

Massage was one of the primary treatments provided at the Greek gymnasiums and baths throughout their existence. Athletes received special massage treatments to minimize exhaustion and tone the muscles. The aliptae were servents who provided this ritual before and after competition and became very knowledgeable about the muscles, the condition of muscles, and muscular activity during exercise. In a way, the aliptae were the predecessors to physical or athletic trainers. Although the ancient Greek records do not contain an abundance of specific information about massage, it was used so commonly in the gymnasiums that the term gymnastics referred to a combination of exercise, massage, and baths that were provided by the gymnasiums. There were, however, some detailed references to massage made by the famous Hippocrates, who made important scientific and medical advancements around 400 BCE.

 

 

02

Mar

Maintenance Massage Watford

Maintenance Massage Watford

Maintenance Massage Watford

Maintenance massage is for the ongoing and regular treatment of muscle tension and soreness due to chronic repetitive stress from an athlete’s particular sport. It is generally a 30 to 90 minute session in which I focus specifically on body areas. I can also perform a full body massage, depending on the needs of the client at the time of the session. The therapeutic techniques are anatomically directed to the muscles, musculotendinous junctions, fascia and ligaments. In order to address the myofascial and neuromuscular systems of the body. The focus of maintenance massage follows the general application of working from general to specific, then superficial to deep, and according to the needs of my client. When determining the specific needs of my client as an athlete, I must first consider whether the activity is lower-or upper body dominant or a combination of both. For example, cycling, which is a lower-body dominant sport with some upper-body stress points. In a 60 minutes maintenance massage session, I would warm the tissues with basic massage strokes. I devote approximately half the massage to the lower-body muscles and spend the rest of the session addresing the back, neck and chest areas as they are also used then cycling.

Restorative massage, also called curative massage and post recovery massage. It takes place 6 to 72 hours after the athletic performance. The purpose of restorative massage is to increase circulation and restore the normal resting length of muscles. During an athletic event, some muscles contract  repeatedly, usually with a lot of force. After the event, the muscles that have been contracting can easily develop a shorter resting length. Unless they are lengthened and their antagonistic muscles are activated. Restorative massage is the perfect opportunity to lengthen the muscles that were particularly active during the event and to stretch the fascia that surrounds those muscles.

Restorative massage to increase circulation and restore normal resting length to the muscles.

  • Usually in a treatment room
  • Performed 6 to 72 hours after the event
  • Clients are usually undressed and modestly draped
  • 30 to 60 minutes treatment
  • Using effleurage, petrissage, compression, range of motion and stretches
  • Focus on the major muscles used in the athletic event
  • Using lubricant

Restorative massage typically takes place in a standard massage treatment room.  

27

Feb

sauna after workout sports massage

sauna after workout sports massage

sauna after workout sports massage

I love a sauna after a workout and massage.  The sauna promotes the flow of fluid within the fascia by opening up the tiny arteries-essential for the healing process-and it makes your tissue very supple. It enhances recuperation after a workout or stretch session and helps the body detoxify. Finally, because it’s dry heat (unlike a steam room), it exercises the sweat glands so they work more efficiently.

Make sure you drink at least a pint of water before getting into the sauna. If you’re not used to saunas, don’t’ stay in longer than eight minutes the first time, and work gradually up to twenty minutes. Caution: if you have a heart problem or high blood pressure, consult a doctor first to make sure the sauna is safe for you. Be aware, too, that saunas can exacerbate skin disorders.

After massage treatment , workout and sauna  we recommend you do the following;

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat only a light meal
  • Keep warm