Blog - Lucas Massage Therapy

25

Jul

Knee ligament sprain

Medial collateral ligament sprains are usually caused by force applied to the outside of the knee joint as in a tackle in football. Force applied to the outside of the knee causes the inside of the knee to open, stretching the medial collateral ligament. The extent of the stretch determines whether the ligament simply stretches, tears partially or completely tears.

Cause of injury

Force applied to the outside of the knee joint.

Signs and symptoms

Pain over the medial portion of the knee. Swelling and tenderness. Instability in the knee and pain on weightbearing.

Complications if left unattended

The ligament, in rare cases, may repair itself but if left unattended could lead to a more severe sprain. The pain and instability in the knee may not resolve. Continued activity on the injured knee could lead to injuries in the other ligaments due to the instability.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Immobilization. Anti-inflammatory medication.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Depending on the severity of the sprain, simple rest and gradual introduction back into activity may be enough. For more severe sprains, braces may be needed during the strengthening phase of rehabilitation and the early portion of the return to activity. The most severe sprains may require extended immobilization and rest from the activity. As range of motion and strength begin to return, stationary bikes and other equipment may be used. Ensuring adequate strength in the thigh muscles and conditioning before starting any activity that is susceptible to trauma to the knee will help prevent these types of injuries.

Long-term prognosis

The ligament will usually heal with no limitations, although in some cases there is residual looseness in the medial part of the knee. Very rarely, surgery is required to repair the ligaments. Meniscal tearing may also result in a severe sprain that may require surgical repair.

 

15

Jul

Piriformis syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is a result of impingement of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle. Incorrect form or improper gait often leads to tightness and inflexibility in piriformis. The condition occurs more frequently in women than men (6:1). When piriformis becomes tight it puts pressure on the underlying nerve, causing pain similar to sciatica. The pain usually starts in the mid-gluteal region and radiates down the back of the thigh.

Cause of injury

Incorrect form or gait while walking or jogging. Weak gluteal muscles and/or tight adductor muscles.

Signs and symptoms

Pain along the sciatic nerve. Pain when climbing stairs or walking up an incline. Increased pain after prolonged sitting.

Complications if left unattended

Chronic pain will result if left untreated. The tight muscles could also become irritated causing stress on the tendons and points of attachment.

Immediate treatment

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

Rehabilitation and prevention

During rehabilitation a gradual return to activity and continued stretching of the hip muscles is essential. Start with lower exercise intensity or duration. Identifying the factors that caused the problem is also importatnt. Strengthening the gluteal muscles and increasing the flexibility of the adductors will help to alleviate some of the stress and prevent the piriformis from becoming tight. Maintaining  a good stretching regimen to keep the piriformis muscle flexible will help, while dealing with the other issues.

Long-term prognosis

Piriformis syndrome seldom results in long-term problems when treated properly. Rarely, a corticosteroid injection or other invasive method may be required to alleviate symptoms.

10

Jul

Hip flexor strain massage Watford

Hip flexors are located on the front of the hip and lift the thigh up or bend the waist forward or down when the limbs are fixed. These muscles are used a lot in cycling, running, kicking and jumping activities. When a new load is placed on the muscle or repetitive stresses are encountered without rest, the muscle may stretch or tear.

Cause of injury

Repetitive stress on the hip flexor muscles without adequate time for recovery. Excessive stress placed on the muscles without appropriate strengthening and warm-up. Improper form when running, cycling or other activities. Forceful hyperextension of the leg at the hip.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the upper groin area over the anterior portion of the hip. Inflammation and tenderness over the hip flexor.

Complications if left unattended

Hip flexor strains left untreated can become chronic and lead to inflexible muscles that could lead to other injuries. The muscle could also continue to tear, eventually leading to a complete rupture from the attachment.

Immediate treatment

Cessation of the activity. Ice the area immediately. X-ray for possible fracture or bone chips.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Use of proper protective equipment during activities and strengthening the supporting muscles around the hip for added padding and protection. Unfortunately there is not a lot that can be done to prevent falling or contact with the hip area.

Rehabilitation includes rest until the pain subsides, then gradual reintroduction on the activity. Any activities causing pain should be discontinued until the area is pain free.

Long-term prognosis

Hip pointers seldom cause long-term disability and most athletes can return to full function after treatment and a rehabilitation period. Surgery is seldom required except in severe fracture cases.

 

 

25

Jun

Slipped disc

Discs are segments of connective tissue that separate the vertebrae of the spine, providing absorption from shock and allowing for the smooth flexing of the neck and back without the vertebral bones rubbing against each other.

A slipped disc (also known as a herniated, ruptured or prolapsed disc) results when the shock-absorbing pads or intervertebral discs split or rupture. The discs contain a jelly-like substance which seeps out into the surrounding tissue, causing local inflammation and pressure on the spinal nerves (and occasionally the spinal cord) where they exit the spinal canal. Slipped discs most frequently occur in the lower back although any disc of the spine is vulnerable to rupture.

Cause of injury

Improper weightlifting technique. Excessive strain. Forceful trauma to the vertebral disc.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the back or neck. Numbness, tingling or pain in the buttocks, back, upper or lower limb. Changes in bowel or bladder function (this is rare but should be treated as a medical emergency).

Complications if left unattended

Slipped or herniated discs require medical attention and evaluation. Symptoms of slipped disc may indicate other underlying ailments including fracture, tumours, infection or nerve damage, with serious – in certain cases, life-threatening – implications.

Immediate treatment

Bed rest, application of alternating ice and heat. Use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Rest and limited activity for several days is usually indicated, though normal, non-athletic daily activity should be resumed soon thereafter to prevent atrophy and restore mobility in the spine. Physical therapy may be combined with massage and gradually increasing exercise of the back after the pain has subsided. Strengthening and flexibility exercises, proper warm-up, avoidance of excessive or sudden weight lifting and attention to good sports technique may help avoid the injury.

Long-term prognosis

Most disc injuries are resolved without surgery, given proper recovery time. Though full restoration of strength and mobility may generally be expected, discs are vulnerable to re-injury, particularly for weightlifters and athletes placing significant demands on the back muscles, tendons and ligaments and on the spine itself.

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.