Blog - Lucas Massage Therapy

23

Nov

Bulging Disc & Back Pain

Bulging Disc & Back Pain

A Bulging disc is one that has extended outward beyond its normal boundary due to various forms of degeneration. Should the disc impinge on the ligaments connecting the vertebrae or on nerves of the spine, pain results. A bulging disc may also result when the nucleus pulpous pushes outward. Disc bulges may be asymptomatic, only appearing on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

Cause of injury

Age-related wear and degeneration. Stretching of ligaments connecting vertebrae. Successive strains from improper weight training.

Signs and symptoms

Back pain radiating to the legs (lumbar discs). Back pain radiating to the shoulders (cervical discs). Numbness, tingling or pain in the buttocks, back, upper or lower limb.

Complications if left unattended 

A bulging disc may not cause symptoms and may not be diagnosed without a medical scan. As a disc bulges more over time, however, it may begin to impinge on nerves and cause pain. Sudden stress to the discs, as during abrupt movements or weightlifting, can cause rupture or herniation of the disc, a more painful condition requiring rest and rehabilitation.

Immediate treatment

Cessation of activity stressing the spinal discs. Rest and alternating ice and heat to reduce inflammation and pain.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Bulging disc often occur as a natural consequence of the ageing process, though in some cases they are a precursor to disc herniation or rupture. Bulging disc are an example of contained injury while herniated disc are considered injury while herniated discs are considered unconfined. Minimizing undue stress on the back may help avoid this injury.

Long-term prognosis

More severely bulging disc may in time rupture, causing the inner material to extrude into the spinal canal. In less severe cases, rest and ice are generally sufficient to restore pain free mobility to the athlete.

The good news is that remedial massage can be very beneficial in treating bulging or herniated disc symptoms.  The type of remedial massage treatment will depend on the severity of the disc issue. In summary, the benefits of remedial massage for the treatment of herniated discs are:

  • decrease in pain and muscle spasms;
  • increased range of motion of the joints; and
  • the prevention of ongoing disc degeneration by restoring normal pelvic and spinal alignment.

 

 

 

11

Nov

Muscle spasms and cramps

Muscle spasms and cramps occur when a skeletal muscle contracts involuntary and does not relax immediately. Spasms are muscle contractions that result in decreased movement at the related joint and can last for weeks.  Spasms and cramps are caused by ischemia (decreased oxygen), muscle splinting after an injury, and low levels of calcium and magnesium in the blood.

In the subacute and chronic stages of a muscle spasms, massage is indicated because it can decrease pain and hypertonicity as well as increase circulation, resulting in more oxygen and nutrients delivered to and removal of waste from the area. This helps break the pain-spasm cycle. Sometimes spasms are referred to as muscle guarding or splinting. In this phenomenon, the body responds to pain by holding a muscle contraction to minimise movement in an attempt to protect an area from further injury.

As part of the body’s own healing mechanism, splinting serves an important purpose, and if the muscles that are acting as splints are relaxed, further injury could result. Treatment for spasms is commonly used with or without a professional diagnosis or prescription and may include heat packs, ice packs, analgesics, muscle relaxants, self-massage, and nutritional supplements such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

01

Nov

Massage therapy near me

Are you looking for a local massage therapist and your local massage place?

My name is Lucas Hovorka BTEC/Edexcel (Dip.) NLSSM (Dip.). I am a sports massage therapist with seven years of experience based in Watford. I offer a variety of treatments suitable for amateur and professional sports people, office workers, musicians, dancers… I believe sports and deep-tissue massage is critical to helping clients overcome problems caused by muscle tension, injury stress, bad posture and over training.

Specialist Treatments

Qualifications

  • Level 4 BTEC Diploma in Sport and Remedial Massage Therapy, NLSSM
  • Seated chair massage (NLSSM CPD Course)
  • Pregnancy and postnatal massage (NLSSM CPD Course)
  • ITC First Aid for Sport

Affiliations

  • SMA – Level 4 Member of the Sport Massage Association
  • Balens – Full practitioner insurance

Experience

Sports massage therapist at Lucas Massage Therapy from September 2010 – Present

• Provide sports & remedial and deep tissue massage therapy focused on client’s needs and goals. Therapy plan is  customized to client’s injuries and complaints following complete assessment and interview.
• Prescribe clients with exercise plans, best advice and  home care based on customized treatment plan.

Sports massage therapist at Pump Gyms, Body Works Therapeutic at Fitness First, GOA – Great Outdoor Adventurers, Pressure Point, Back to Health Wellness Centre.

Skills & Endorsements

Stretching, Rehabilitation, Neuromuscular, Sports injuries, Trigger Point Therapy, Exercise Prescription, Gait Analysis, Posture, Home Care, Pathology, Compression, Friction, Effleurage, Petrissage, Vibration, MET-Muscle Energy Technigues, PIR – Post Isometric Contraction, STR – Soft Tissue Release, Trigger Point, Neuromuscular Technigue, Posture Assessment, Anatomy & Physiology,  Functional Anatomy – ROM

 

Lucas can help you with the following:

Massage therapy near me

Benefits

  • Faster recovery
  • Pain reduction
  • Improved posture
  • Injury prevention
  • Improved circulation
  • Greater flexibility and range of motion
  • Improved performance
  • Reduction of stress
  • Greater energy
  • Have more confidence
  • Functional muscle balance
  • Improved self-awareness

Massage therapy near me

Aftercare

As part of our duty of care to all our clients a consultation is always conducted at the beginning of the first massage appointment. It is important in order to establish the client’s medical history and lifestyle. The therapist discusses posture, exercise, allergies, work pattern and stress indicators. This information helps the therapist to determine the most appropriate course of treatment. It is important to let the therapist know if you have any medical problem such as skin allergies or skin conditions, join problems, any history of heart problems. If you are / may be pregnant or if you have recently had a surgery.

After sports massage and deep-tissue massage, we recommend you do the following:

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

Massage therapy near me

 

17

Oct

Golfer’s elbow massage Watford

Golfer’s elbow, also known as medical epicondylitis, is a form of tendinitis similar to tennis elbow. Golfing is one of many sources of the affliction, which can result from any activity leading to overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm. While the painful sensation at the elbow is similar to tennis elbow, in the case of golfer’s elbow the pain and inflammation occur at the inside (or medial side) of the joint.

The medial epicondyle is a bony prominence on the inside of the elbow. It is the insertion point for muscles used to bend the wrist downward. Forceful, repetitive bending of the fingers and wrist can lead to small ruptures of the muscle and tendon in this area. While the golfing swing produces a tightening in the flexor muscles and tendons they can lead to medial epicondylitis, other activities can produce the same injury.

 

Golfer’s Elbow massage Watford

Sport’s massage therapy has been shown to be effective in the short and long-term management of Golfer’s Elbow. Aims to achieve a:

  • Reduction of elbow pain.

  • Facilitation of tissue repair.

  • Restoration of normal joint range of motion and function.

  • Restoration of normal muscle length, strength and movement patterns.

  • Normalisation of your upper limb neurodynamics.

  • Normalisation of cervical joint function.

Case of injury

Sudden trauma or blow to the elbow. Repetitive stress to the flexor muscles and tendons of the forearm. Repeated stress placed on the arm during the acceleration phase of the throwing motion. Underlying health issues including neck problems, rheumatism, arthritis or gout.

Signs and symptoms

Tenderness and pain at the medial epicondyle, which worsens when the wrist is flexed. Pain resulting from lifting or grasping objects. Difficulty extending the forearm.

Complications if left unattended 

Golfer’s elbow, while generally alleviated by proper rest, can cause increasing pain and unpleasantness if the stressful activity continues. The condition rarely requires surgery and responds well to proper rehabilitation. Should surgery be required, scar tissue is removed from the elbow where the tendons attach.

Immediate treatment

Avoidance of the elbow. RICER regimen for 48-72 hours following the injury. Use of anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics.

Rehabilitation and prevention

In the case of golfing, the affliction can be reduced in severity or prevented altogether through attention to proper technique and attention to overuse. Golfer’s elbow is more prevalent early in the golf season, when muscles and tendons are not yet sufficiently conditioned. Rehabilitation generally involves avoiding the painful activity for a period. Use of analgesics for pain and anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce symptoms. After healing, resistive exercises may be undertaken to improve strength.

Long-term prognosis

Those suffering from golfer’s elbow generally make a full recovery without surgery or advanced medical care, provided the injured elbow is afforded proper rest from the stressful activity.

25

Sep

Tendinitis of the adductor muscles

Inflammation in the adductor muscle tendons or tendon sheaths due to overuse can cause pain in the groin area. Sprinting, football, hurdling and horse riding can all cause overuse in these muscles. Unresolved injuries such as groin strain can also lead to tendinitis.

The adductor muscles include the pectinous, adductor longs, adductor braves, gracilis and adductor Magnus and the tendons any of these may become inflamed. The pain is similar to a groin strain but onset is gradual and chronic in nature.

Cause of injury

Repetitive stress to the adductor muscles. Previous injury such as groin strain. Tight gluteal muscles.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the groin area. Pain when bringing the legs together against resistance. Pain when running, especially sprinting.

Complications if left unattended

If left unattended, tendinitis of the adductor muscles can lead to imbalance and injury to the other muscles of the hip joint. It can also result in a tear of one or more of the adductor muscles.

Immediate treatment

Ice and rest from activities that cause pain. Anti-inflammatory medication. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Rehabilitation for tendinitis of the adductors starts with gradual reintroduction into activity with stretching and strengthening exercises for the affected muscles. Use heat packs on the affected area before exercise at first, then continue with good warm-up activities to make sure the muscles are ready for activity. Strengthening the adductors and stretching the opposing abductors will help prevent this injury from recurring. Rehabilitating all groin pulls and other hip injuries completely will also prevent problems with the adductors.

Long-term problems are seldom seen with tendinitis of the adductor muscles after treatment. If pain and limited mobility in the hip persists, additional help may be required from a sports medicine specialist.

 

 

06

Sep

Achilles tendon strain massage Watford

Achilles tendon strains can be very painful and require significant healing time. An injury to this tendon can be debilitating because of its involvement in walking and even balance during weight bearing. Explosive activities that involve pushing against resistance such as rugby and weight training, contribute greatly to this injury.

The strain can be graded on scale from 1 to 3:

Grade 1 strain: Stretching or minor tear of less than 25% of tendon.

Grade 2 strain: 25-75% tearing of the tendon fibres.

Grade 3 strain 75-100% rupture of the tendon fibres.

Cause of injury

Abrupt, forceful contraction of the calf muscles, especially when the muscle and tendon are either cold or inflexible. Excessive force applied to the foot forcing the ankle upward into dorsiflexion.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the Achilles tendon, from mild discomfort in grade 1 strains to severe, debilitating pain in grade 3 strains. Swelling and tenderness. Pain when rising on the toes. Inability to bend the ankle. Stiffness in the calf and heel area after resting.

Complications if left unattended

A minor tear may become a complete rupture if left unattended. Bursitis and tendinitis may develop from the inflamed tendon rubbing over the heel.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Anti-inflamatory medication. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing. Immobilization and medical help for grade 3 strains.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Rest is important and a gradual return to activity must be undertaken. Stretching and strengthening the calf muscles is important to rehabilitation and to prevent recurrence. Warming-up the calf muscles properly before all activities, especially those involving forceful contractions such as sprinting, is essential to prevent strains.

Long-term prognosis

Due to the lower blood supply in tendons, they take longer to heal than the muscle, but with rest and rehabilitation the Achilles tendon can return to normal function. Severe ruptures usually require surgical repair.

 

 

 

 

 

22

Aug

Patellar dislocation

A subluxation or dislocation of the patella (kneecap) commonly occurs during deceleration, for example when slowing from a run to a walk. The patella slides partially out of the groove between the femoral condyles but does not limit mobility. Pain and swelling may accompany this condition. Athletes who have a muscle imbalance or a structural deformity, such as a high patella, have a higher chance of subluxation.

If the outer muscle of the quadriceps, vastus lateralis, is stronger than the inner muscle, vastus medialis, the imlbalance may cause an uneven tension on the patella, pulling it out of alignment. In addition, the lateral femoral condyle and patella may be bruised. This happens with forceful contractions such as planting, changing direction or landing from a jump.

Cause of injury

Strength imbalance between the outer and inner quadriceps. Impact to the side of the patella. Twisting of the knee.

Signs and symptoms

Feeling of pressure under the patella. Pain and swelling behind the patella. Pain when bending or straightening the knee.

Complications if left unattended

Continued subluxations can cause small fractures in the patella, cartilage tears and put stress on the tendons. Failure to treat a subluxation could lead to chronic subluxations.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Anti-inflammatory medication.

Rehabilitation and prevention

During rehabilitation activities that do not aggravate the injury should be sought, such as swimming or biking instead of running. Strengthening of vastus medialis and stretching vastus lateralis will help correct the muscle imbalance that may cause this condition. A brace to hold the patella in p;ace may be needed when initially returning to activity. To prevent subluxations it is important to keep the muscles surrounding the knee strong and flexible and avoid direct impact to the patella.

Long-term prognosis

Subluxations respond well to rest, rehabilitation and anti-inflammatory measures. Rarely surgery may be required to prevent recurring subluxations due to misalignment or instability.

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.