Blog - Lucas Massage Therapy

17

Jun

Dislocation of the shoulder

Dislocation of the shoulder at the GH joint may occur when an athlete falls on an outstretched hand or during abduction and external rotation of the shoulder. Significant force is required to dislocate a shoulder unless the athlete is experiencing re-injury. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus pulls free of the glenoid fossa of the scapula.

While several types of shoulder dislocation exist, the most common is anterior dislocation which represents 95% of all cases. In this dislocation injury, the structures responsible for stabilizing the anterior shoulder, including the capsule and the inferior glenohumeral ligament, are torn free from the bone. Compression fractures of the posteromedial humeral head known as Hill-Sachs lesions are associated with anterior dislocations. More commonly, avulsion of the anterior glenoid labrum can occur, which is known as a Bankart lesion.

Cause of injury

Violent contact with another athlete or solid object. A fall onto an outstretched hand. Sudden, violent torsion of the shoulder.

Signs and symptoms

Severe pain in the shoulder. Arm held away from the body at the side, with the forearm turned outward. Irregular contour of the deltoid muscles.

Complications if left unattended

Dislocation of the GH joint causes damage to the joint ligaments, resulting in the joint becoming less stable and considerably more prone to successive dislocations during athletics. Immobilization of the shoulder during the healing phase does not fully prevent such re-injury, which may require surgical intervention, since the immobilized ligaments often fail to heal in the proper position. Damage to the axillary artery and nerve can also occur, causing weakness tn the deltoid muscle.

Immediate treatment

Realignment or reduction of the dislocated joint. Immobilization and analgesics for pain.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Most initial shoulder dislocations are treated without resort to surgery, although subsequent dislocations may require surgical care. Many athletes suffer a range of disabilities following dislocation. An alternative to surgical treatment – prolotherapy – involves injections directed at the middle and inferior glenohumeral ligaments. This may offer better relief from pain, restoration of mobility and a speedier return to athletic activity. Further, the technique avoids the formation of scar tissue common after surgery.

Long-term prognosis

A large percentage of athletes may be unable to continue sports following a shoulder dislocation without subsequent injuries or the need for surgical treatment. Furthermore, athletes who undergo surgery following shoulder dislocation are often unable to perform at their former level. The alternative method of prolotherapy may offer relief and more effective healing.

10

Jun

Quadriceps tendinitis

Inflammation of the quadriceps tendon can be a result of repetitive stress to the quadriceps or excessive stress before the muscle is conditioned. Minor tears may occur in the tendon when it is stretched while subjected to loading. Pain just above the patella (kneecap), especially when extending (straightening) the knee, usually accompanies this injury.

Cause of injury

Repetitive stress to the tendon, e.g. running or jumping. Repetitive acceleration and deceleration, e.g. hurdling or football. Untreated injury to the quadriceps.

Signs and symptoms

Pain just above the patella. Jumping, running, kneeling or walking down stairs may aggravate the pain.

Complications if left unattended

The quadriceps muscles may become stiff and shortened and the tendon will become weak if left untreated. This could lead to a rupture of the tendon. A change in gait or landing form in the case of hurdlers can lead to other injuries as well.

Immediate treatment

Rest and ice. Anti-inflammatory medication. Training modification.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Rehabilitation should include stretching and strengthening exercises for the quadriceps. Activities such as swimming can be helpful to reduce the stress on the tendon during rehabilitation. Return to a normal activity schedule should be delayed until pain subsides completely and strength is restored. Keeping the quadriceps flexible and strong will help prevent this condition.

Long-term prognosis

A full recovery with no long-term disability or lingering effects can be expected in most cases of tendinitis, and surgery is only necessary in extremely rare cases.

 

 

03

Jun

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Illiotibial band (ITB) syndrome refers to excessive pulling or friction of the ITB over the greater trochanter of the femur near the hip and/or the lateral condyle at the knee. This friction or tension causes inflammation and significant pain when the knees and hips flex or extend. Bursitis can also ensue.

Cause of injury

Tension or friction of the ITB. Repetitive hip and knee flexion and extention while the tensor fasciae latae (TFL) is contracted, such as with running. Tight TFL is contracted, such as with running. Tight TFL and ITB. Muscle imbalances.

Signs and symptoms

Knee pain over the lateral condyle. Pain with flexion and extension of the knee.

Complications if left unattended

The ITB and accompanying TFL become tight due to the pain and inflammation. If left unattended this can lead to chronic pain and further injury to the knee and hip.

Immediate treatment

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

Rehabilitation and prevention

Increasing flexibility as pain allows will help speed recovery. After the pain has subsided, increasing strength and flexibility of all the muscles of the thighs and hips to develop balance with help prevent future issues. Identifying and fixing any errors in running form will also help to prevent recurrence of the injury.

Long-term prognosis

ITB syndrome can be treated successfully with no lingering effects. Inflammation and pain may return when the activity is resumed and form corrections must be made to prevent future problems.

 

 

 

28

May

Quadriceps strain

A forceful stretch or tear of the muscle or tendon in a weightbearing muscle such as the quadriceps is painful and difficult to rest. The quadriceps are involved in supporting the hip and knee to hold the wight of the. A quadriceps strain can result from a forceful contraction of the quadriceps or unusual stress placed on the muscles. As with other strains it is graded 1 through 3, with 3 being the most severe tear.

A strain may occur in any of the quadriceps muscles but the rectus femoris is most commonly injured. The force generated in activities such as sprinting, jumping and weight training may cause microtears in the muscle. When the muscle is stretched forcefully under a load as in high-impact sports like football and hockey it may also pull away from the muscle-tendon junction or bony attachment or tear completely.

Cause of injury

Forceful contraction or stretch of the quadriceps.

Signs and symptoms

Grade 1: Mildly tender and painful. Little or no swelling. Full muscular strength.

Grade 2: More marked pain and tenderness. Moderate swelling and possible bruising. Noticeable loss of strength.

Grade 3 (full tear): Extreme pain. Deformity, swelling and bruising. Inability to contract the muscle.

Complications if left unattended

A grade 1 or 2 tear left unattended can continue to tear and become worse. A grade 3 tear left untreated can result in loss of mobility and a severe loss of flexibility in the muscle.

Immediate treatment

RICER  regimen. Anti-inflammatory medication. Immobilization in severe cases. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

Rehabilitation and prevention

After the required rest period, activities should be resumed cautiously. Avoid activities that cause pain. Stretching and strengthening of the quadriceps will be necessary. Ensuring a balance of strength between the quadriceps and hamstrings is important to prevent a strain. Proper warm-up techniques must be observed to prevent strains and gradually increasing intensity will help as well.

Long-term prognosis

Quadriceps strains seldom result in long-term pain or disability. Surgery is only needed in rare cases where a complete tear does not respond to immobilization and rest.

 

21

May

Calf pain massage Watford

Failure to warm-up properly can lead to calf strains. The calf muscles are used when taking off during a sprint, jumping, changing directions or standing up from a deep squat. These are usually explosive movements requiring forceful contractions of the calf muscles. Strains can result from incorrect foot positioning during activity or an eccentric contraction beyond the strength level of the muscle.

When taking off and changing direction the calf muscles are particularly vulnerable to tearing at their junction with the tendon. An eccentric contraction, a contraction while the muscle stretches such as when landing from a jump, can also cause a tear if the muscle is fatigued or not strong enough to bear the load placed on it.

Cause of injury

Forceful contraction of gastrocnemius or soleus. Forcefull eccentric contraction. Improper foot position when pushing off or landing.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the calf muscle, usually mid-calf. Pain when standing on tiptoes and sometimes pain when bending the knee. Swelling or bruising in the calf.

Complications if left unattended

Any strain left unattended can lead to a complete rupture. Te calf muscles are used when standing and walking so pain can become disabling. A limp or change in gait due to this injury could lead to injury in other areas.

Immediate treatment

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

Rehabilitation and prevention

As the pain subsides, a programme of light stretching may help facilitate healing. When the pain has subsided, strengthening and stretching will help to prevent future injury. Proper warm-up before activities will help protect the muscle from tears. Strong, flexible muscles resist strains better and recover more quickly.

Long-term prognosis

Muscle strains, when treated properly with rest and therapy, seldom have lingering effects. In very rare cases where the muscle detaches completely, surgery may be required to re-attach the muscle.

 

BENEFITS OF SPORTS AND DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE

There are many applications and benefits to sports and deep tissue massage. It can be used for:

  • stripping out tight muscles
  • loosening restricted joins
  • warming up and stimulating the body before a competition
  • improving recovery between training and competition
  • restoring energy when fatigued
  • treating strained muscles and strained ligaments
  • helping to keep minor injury from becoming a more serious problem
  • breaking up adhesions
  • releasing tight connective tissues
  • improving lymphatic circulation
  • increasing blood circulation
  • reducing swelling
  • toning muscles
  • muscle balancing
  • treating postural deviations
  • relieving pain
  • deactivating trigger points
  • treating orthopaedic and arthritic conditions
  • enhancing body awareness
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • providing psychological boost
  • helping to keep the athlete in peak condition
  • improving performance generally
  • injury prevention
  • general relaxation
  • increasing well-being

16

May

Hamstring strain

A hamstring strain or pull is a stretch or tear of the hamstring muscles or tendons. This is a very common injury, especially in activities that involve sprinting or explosive accelerations. A common case of a hamstring strain is muscle imbalance between the hamstring and quadriceps, with the quadriceps being much stronger.

Any of the hamstring muscles can be strained. Commonly minor tears happen in the belly of the biceps femoris muscle closest to the knee. Complete tears or ruptures usually pull away from this attachment as well. Excessive force against the muscles, especially during eccentric contraction (when the muscle is contracting and lengthening, against force) can cause stretching, minor tears or even complete rupture.

Cause of injury

Strength imbalance between the hamstrings and quadriceps. Forceful stretching of the muscle, especially during contraction. Excessive overload on the muscle.

Signs and symptoms

Grade 1:  Mildly tender and painful. Little or no swelling. Full muscular strength.

Grade 2:  More marked pain and tenderness. Moderate swelling and possible bruising. Gait affected – limping.

Grade 3:  Extreme pain. Marked swelling and bruising. Inability to bear weight.

Complications if left unattended

Pain and tightness in the hamstring muscles will get worse without treatment. Tightness in the hamstrings can lead to lower back and hip problems. Untreated strains can progress to a full rupture.

Immediate treatment

Grade 1:  Ice. Anti-inflammatory medication.

Grade 2: and 3: RICER. Anti-inflammatory medication. Seek medical help if a complete rupture is suspected or if the patient is unable to walk unaided. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Stretching after the initial pain subsides will help speed recovery and prevent future recurrences. Strengthening the hamstrings to balance them with the quadriceps is also important.  When re-entering activity, proper warm-up must be stressed and a gradual increase in intensity is important.

Long-term prognosis

Hamstring strains that are rehabilitated fully seldom leave any lingering effects. Complete ruptures may require surgery to repair and long-term rehabilitation.

 

 

08

May

Ankle sprain

Ankle sprains are among the most common of all sports-related injuries. The ankle joint is designed to adapt to uneven terrain, but a sudden or forceful twisting motion can result in damage to the ankle ligaments. In severe sprains, the ligaments may be torn and the ankle dislocated. In some cases, the bones around the ankle may also be fractured.

Anyone involved in athletics is susceptible to an ankle sprain, an acute injury to any or all of the ligaments that support the ankle structure. Tearing or stretching of the ligaments can occur when the foot is rolled or twisted forcefully. High-impact sports involving jumping, sprinting or running on changing or uneven surfaces often, cross country and hockey are a few of the sports commonly associated with ankle sprains.

Lateral ankle or inversion sprains commonly occur when stress is applied to the ankle during plantarflexion. The anterior talofibular ligament is most commonly injured. The medial malleolus may act as a fulcrum to further injure the calcaneofibular ligament if the strain continues. The peroneal tendons may absorb some of this strain. Medial ankle sprains are less common because of the strong deltoid ligament and bony structure of the ankle. When ligaments are stretched beyond their normal range some tearing of the fibres may occur.

Cause of injury

Sudden twisting of the foot. Rolling or force to the foot, most commonly laterally.

Signs and symptoms

First-degree sprains: Little or no swelling: mild pain and stiffness in the joint.

Second-degree sprains: Moderate swelling and stiffness: moderate to severe pain: difficulty weightbearing and some instability in the joint.

Third-degree sprains:  Severe s welling and pain: inability to weightbear: instability and loss of function in the joint

Complications if left unattended

Chronic pain and instability in the ankle joint may result if left unattended. Loss of strenghth and flexibility and possible loss of function may also result. Increased risk of re-injury.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Second- and third-degree sprains may require immobilization and immediate medical attention should be sought.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Strengthening the muscles of the lower leg is important to prevent future sprains. Balance training will help to improve proprioception (the body’s awareness of movement and joint position sense) and strengthen the weakened ligaments. Flexibility exercises to reduce stiffness and improve mobility are needed also. Bracing during the initial return to activity may be needed but should not replace strengthening and flexibility development.

Long-term prognosis

With proper rehabilitation and strengthening the athlete should not experience any limitations. A slight increase in the probability of injuring that ankle may occur. Athletes who continue to experience difficulty with the ankle may need additional medical interventions including, in rare cases, possible surgery to tighten the ligaments.

 

 

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.