Common Injuries Archives - Lucas Massage Therapy

22

Feb

Lower back pain treatment Watford

Sudden, irregular motion, repetitive stress or excessive load on the ligaments associated with the spine can cause a sprain or tearing of the ligaments. The resulting injury, which affects athletes in a broad variety of sports, produces pain and varying degrees of immobility.

Cause of injury

Lifting beyond normal capacity. Sudden torsion of the spine, including a fall during skiing or other sport. Unprepared movement involving the back.

Signs and symptoms

Pain and stiffness. Difficulty bending over and pain when straightening the back. Tenderness and inflammation.

Complications if left unattended

A sprain to the ligaments will generally force the athlete to rest the injury and allow healing time due to pain and stiffness precluding normal activity. Should activity be continued before adequate healing, further tearing of the ligaments and lasting ligament injury may result. A mild ligament sprain can become acutely painful and incapacitating if ignored.

Immediate treatment

RICER regimen immediately following injury. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Rehabilitation and prevention

In the case of mild to moderate ligament sprain, a few days rest should allow a return to most non-athletic daily activity. This should be undertaken to re-establish flexibility in the spine and avoid atrophy. Strengthening exercises for the back should not be undertaken until full recovery. Warm-ups and stretching prior to sports, good posture and attention to proper technique can help avoid this injury.

Long-term prognosis

Less than 5% of back injuries require surgery, and surgery is rarely warranted for ligament sprain, although 6-8 weeks of recovery are often required, sometimes longer, should the sprain be serious. Failure to allow complete healing will increase the risk of re-injury.

Do you have pain in your lower back?

 

Ever had a back massage? If you are one of the millions of back pain sufferers, you might want to consider sports & remedial massage to help relieve your pain. Here are benefits of massage.

 

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

 

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12

Jan

Elbow fracture

An elbow fracture is a break involving any of the three arm bones that work together to form the elbow joint. Such fractures may occur as the result of a blunt force striking the elbow during athletics or from a fall onto the elbow. The injury is common to many sports, particularly contact sports such as football. Fractures may be classified as distal humeral fractures, radial fractures and ulnar fractures. Fractures of the radial head are the most common.

Cause of injury

Falling directly onto the elbow. Direct trauma to the elbow. Severe torsion of the elbow beyond its normal range of motion.

Signs and symptoms

Swelling and pain in the region of the elbow. Deformity of the elbow due to bone fracture. Loss of arm mobility.

Complications if left unattended 

Without treatment, fractured bones of the elbow can fail to heal properly, and at times fuse in misalignment. This can lead to long term deficit in range of motion and strength, increased vulnerability to re-injury and deformity of the joint.

Immediate treatment 

Apply ice immediately to the swollen area. Immobilize the arm in a splint or sling before seeking emergency help.

Rehabilitation and prevention 

Elbow fractures occur from sudden, accidental trauma and are often difficult to prevent. Avoiding athletics at periods of extreme fatigue and protection of the elbow with padding during athletics are both prudent.

Additionally, consuming calcium and performing bone strengthening exercises  may help avoid fractures.

Long-term prognosis

Long-term prospects for elbow fractures vary depending on the nature and severity of the fracture as well as the age and medical history of the injured athlete. Infections, stiffening of the elbow joint, arthritis, non-union or malunion of bone are possible. In the case of less severe elbow fractures, full recovery may be expected , though the healing process often requires several months.

11

Dec

Meniscus Tear

Tearing of the menisci can occur with forceful twisting of the knee or may accompany other injuries such as ligament sprains. An ‘unhappy triad’ is when a blow to the lateral side of the knee causes tearing of the medial collateral ligament, the anterior cruciate ligament and the menisci. This is often seen in sports that require a planting of the foot to quickly change direction. The medial meniscus is injured much more frequently than the lateral meniscus, mainly due to it being more securely attached to the tibia and, therefore, less mobile.

Cause of injury

Forceful twisting of the knee joint, most commonly seen when the knee is also bent. May accompany ligament strains as well.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the knee joint. Swelling. Catching or locking in the joint.

Complications if left unattended

A meniscal tear can cause premature wear on the cartilage at the ends of the bones and under the patella. This can lead to arthritic conditions and a fluid build-up in the knee joint. Loose pieces of cartilage and jagged edges of a damaged meniscus and can cause catching and locking.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Anti-inflammatory medication.

Rehabilitation and prevention

When recovering from a meniscal tear it is important to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee to prevent the injury from happening again. Strong quadriceps and hamstring again. Strong quadriceps and hamstrings help support the knee and prevent the twisting that might cause a tear. The muscles should be stretched regularly  as well since tight muscles can also cause problems in the knee. After surgical repair of a meniscus tear weight bearing should be encouraged as tolerable, but as with any restart of activity should be done gradually.

Long-term prognosis

A tear to a meniscus usually requires arthroscopic surgery to repair. The surgery requires removal of the torn edges of the meniscus but leaves the main body of the meniscus intact. Therefore, most meniscus tears heal fully with no long-term limitations.

 

 

 

23

Nov

Back Pain & Bulging Disc

Back Pain & Bulging Disc

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 sports & 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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.