Blog - Lucas Massage Therapy

08

Nov

Hip pain

Hip pain

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.

 

20

Oct

Massage Watford

Massage Watford

DO YOU HAVE TIGHTNESS OR PAIN IN YOUR MUSCLES?

ARE YOU INJURED, STRESSED OR TIRED?

Book your appointment on-line today

Gift voucher session plans available.

FEEL BETTER – MOVE BETTER – BE PAIN FREE

 

SPORTS & REMEDIAL / DEEP-TISSUE MASSAGE IN WATFORD

SPECIALIST TREATMENTS

  • Sports & Remedial massage
  • Deep-tissue massage
  • Soft tissue release
  • Muscle energy technique
  • Neuromuscular technique
  • Gait analysis
  • Posture assessment
  • Home care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stretching technique
  • Exercise prescriptions

SPORTS MASSAGE & DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE TREATMENTS FOR

  • upper & lower back pain
  • neck & shoulder pain
  • rotator cuff injuries
  • muscle strains
  • sprain injuries
  • knee injuries
  • tennis elbow
  • shin splints
  • whiplash
  • poor muscle activation
  • muscle compensation patterns
  • muscle imbalance
  • postural problems
  • RSI (repetitive strain injury)
  • chronic pain
  • tiredness & stress
  • headache & migraine
  • sciatica

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, fascia and ligaments. 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 addressing the back, neck and chest areas as they are also used then cycling.

Restorative massage, also called curative massage and post recovery massage. It is very beneficial. 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.  

Massage Watford

Massage has always been used as an aid to health, and by all manner of people. From mothers for children’s ailments, to nurses in respiratory care, and to osteopaths and medical massage therapists treating all types of conditions, Massage is used because it is effective. Not only is it a therapeutically useful technique, but it is also a very popular treatment. Subjectively it is known that massage feels good. Another bonus is that massage can be used to treat or relive a very wide variety of conditions. Perhaps not always as the main prescriptive medicine, but as a strong adjunct. Clients turn to massage therapists for many reasons. Obviously, sports massage has developed for sports people, and it is universally accepted. Massage can be helpful for musculo-skeletal injuries. Massage therapy is also widely used for such wide-ranging conditions. As anxiety, depression, palliative cancer care, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Arthritis, Constipation, Headache, Migraine, Multiple sclerosis and Insomnia. Whether the object is to use specific massage techniques to attend to specific dysfunctions and injuries. The object is to generate a relaxation effect. The therapy is more than useful and always will be considered to be so.

Sports massage Watford

Sports massage can aid the prevention of injury as well as speeding up recovery time by helping with mobilisation, the stretching of muscles to their full length and potential, and by stimulating your lymphatic system.  Anyone can benefit from this treatment, you don’t have to be an athlete to have an injury! Most athletes today  include sports massage in their lifestyle, if you are training or playing sports regularly, or are just an active person, why don’t you include massage?  I can combine sports massage and deep-tissue massage to give you the best possible combination of treatments to enhance your sporting/aerobic performance. Lucas also offers a wide range of advice for stretching, strengthening exercises, diet, and many other aspects relating to training and good posture

Lucas believes sports massage and deep-tissue massage is critical to helping clients overcome problems caused by muscle tension, injury, stress, bad posture and over training.

Sports massage is that specific area of massage therapy that has been developed to help improve sports performance. It is now an accepted and integral part of the considered scientific approach to sports training, preparation, recovery and injury management. Sports massage may also be known as performance massage, athletic massage or deep tissue massage. It would seem these days that most elite athletes at least have easy access to this therapeutic aid. Indeed many sports clubs and fitness centers now have on-site professional massage facilities. Of course, as a therapy, it can be just as useful to non-athletes. Borrowing the standard massage techniques of effleurage, petrissage and tapotement. It is also normally combined with passive mobilizations, stretching and often with many other more remedial techniques. There are certain differences between sports massage and general body massage. For one, sports massage has developed, over the years, to directly help athletes prepare and recover from their training and competitions. Therefore it has generally been performed on people who have good knowledge and awareness of their bodies. Athletic bodies in many disciplines, especially those that involve a great deal of strength training, tend to be fit, toned and hard. Which can have implications for the therapist when attempting to access and attend to deeper structures

13

Oct

Arnica

Arnica

By now, we’re all well aware of the benefits of massage. From lymphatic drainage to the healing power of touch, massage is an essential part of living well and any massage therapist will tell you that the benefits of this ancient practice can be magnified when paired with the right essential oil. While lavender helps to promote relaxation and citrus can reinvigorate the mind, arnica oil is our oil of the moment thanks to its uncanny ability to ease aches and relieve pain, making it perfect for those of us who spend hours hunched over a desk at work or who spend hours pushing our bodies to their limits at the gym.

Derived from the arnica flower of the sunflower family, arnica oil helps to reduce inflammatory pain when applied topically. Typically it’s used for the pain and swelling associated with bruises, sprains, pulls, muscle aches, and even arthritis, since it helps to boost circulation and speed up the healing process. The anti-inflammatory powers are also used to treat acne in some cases. In the past, arnica was touted for its ability to help detoxify your system when taken orally, but it can actually be incredibly toxic when ingested so we’d recommend against it unless otherwise advised by your doctor. 

Treatment Of Arthritis

The anti-inflammatory properties of arnica are praiseworthy. It has been used in topical preparations for healing joint pains, muscle aches and swelling associated with arthritis. A research conducted in 2002 indicated that the use of arnica gel twice daily for 6 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in pain and stiffness in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. In the case of osteoarthritis of the hand, arnica gel has proven to be as effective as ibuprofen in lessening pain and improving hand function. The essence of arnica plant is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it can be used to massage inflamed or painful joints for relief.

Treatment Of Muscle Soreness

The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb make it useful for the treatment of muscle soreness. It can be applied topically to reduce pain and inflammation caused by muscle sprain and strains. Thus, it is beneficial for athletes who often suffer from muscle soreness.

Healing Qualities

Arnica has been used in topical preparations for healing bruises, muscle aches, superficial phlebitis, wounds and swelling due to insect bites and fractures. It can be used as a mouthwash or gargle for treating sore throat and infections. However, it should be used and consumed according to the directions of the physician. It helps in the regeneration of tissues and can heal injuries. It is also effective in healing burns. It improves blood circulation by stimulating white blood cell activity, decreasing the amount of healing time and reducing inflammation.

 Treatment Of Post-Surgery Pain

A study conducted in 2007 observed that taking a homeopathic dilution of arnica resulted in a decrease in pain in patients whose tonsils were removed. Similarly, taking a homeopathic dilution of arnica and topical application of arnica ointment reduces post-surgery pain in patients undergoing surgery for carpel tunnel syndrome.

 Treatment Of Bruises And Black Eyes

Arnica is effective in reducing the appearance of bruises. Topical application of arnica extract on bruises and black eyes can significantly improve the condition. Infusions from arnica plant are effective in the treatment of dark nails caused due to injuries from heavy objects.

 Oral Health

The anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of arnica make it great for oral health. Arnica mouthwashes are widely available and can treat bacterial infections in the mouth. Washing your mouth with arnica and water regularly can cure conditions like gingivitis and pyorrhoea. It can also reduce wisdom tooth pain.

 Treatment Of Post Surgery Swelling

A study conducted in 2006 has proved that intake of homeopathic dilution of arnica may slightly reduce post-operative swelling in patients undergoing arthroscopy.

 Treatment Of Stress And Depression

In addition to its medicinal uses, arnica is beneficial in alleviating feelings of depression and emotional distress. It is often used in healing sachets to restore emotional balance and a sense of tranquility. Organic and wild grafted arnica flower extract can be massaged to provide warmth which unwinds your taxed and tight muscles and alleviates stress.

Other Benefits

Arnica has been used in homeopathy for the treatment of an accident or shock as well as illness of the circulatory system. It is also used in the treatment of conditions like a backache, fibromyalgia, influenza, headaches, migraines and hemorrhoids.

13

Oct

Sore Neck

Sore Neck injuries –  strain, fracture & contusion

Injuries to the neck can be serious, particularly in the case of broken or fractured vertebrae. Neck strains are less serious and far more common, and involve injury to the muscles or tendons of the neck. Contusions are bruises to the skin and underlying tissue of the neck, usually the result of a direct blow.

Cause of injury

Sudden twisting of the neck. Serious fall. Direct blow to the neck, in the case of contusion.

Signs and symptoms

Head, neck and shoulder pain. Crackling sensation in the neck. Loss of neck strength and mobility.

Complications if left unattended

Injuries to the neck are potentially serious and deserve prompt medical attention. Long-term paralysis, loss of motion and coordination, calcification and osteoporosis are possible side-effects. In the case of fracture, the injury can lead to paraplegia and is also sometimes fatal.

Immediate treatment 

Immobilisation to protect the spinal cord. Analgesics for pain.

Rehabilitation and prevention

For neck strains, immobilisation for a period of weeks with a brace may be recommended. In cases of fracture, the broken vertebrae may be surgically pinned together with screws and the patient may be placed in a neck cast. Physical therapy following healing will attempt to re-establish range of motion, flexibility and strength. Helmets or other athletic headgear as well as attention to proper technique can help prevent some neck injuries.

Long-term prognosis

Outcomes for neck injury vary widely depending on the nature and severity. In cases of fracture, the prognosis is generally worse with injuries occurring higher up the cervical spine.

Neck strains and contusions are far less serious and their outcome given proper treatment and rehabilitation is usually good. Severe strains in which the muscle-tendon-bone attachment is ruptured may require surgical repair.

 

07

Oct

Types of protein

Types of protein

During prolonged and intense exercise, amino acids, which are part of our muscles’ makeup, are used to supply the energy necessary for the effort we are generating. Even if the use of these amino acids is minimal in terms of quantity, it has a significant impact on our muscles’ function. After exercising, our organism automatically goes into a muscle’s function. After exercising, our organism automatically goes into a muscle protein rebuilding phase (called ‘anabolism’) the effectiveness of which largely depends on the availability of amino acids and of different hormonal signals, including insulin. Your protein intake after exercising will therefore boost muscle reconstruction.

Which are the best proteins to improve your muscle mass? There exist two different sources: amino acids, which are the precursors to proteins, and whole proteins which are made of assembled amino acids, and come from a variety of sources. The idea is to combine both sources as wisely as possible. It is important  that you favour the use of proteins which have high biological value, such as animal protein (especially eggs, fish, milk and dairy products), whose nutritional value is generally higher than that of plant protein, as they have a better balance of essential amino acids, with higher concentration of leucine, and are easier to digest.

Proteins are not all digested at the same rate. Ideally, the snack you take after your training sessions should contain both fast-digested and slower-digested proteins. The former are rapidly digested and absorbed, and immediately supply the organism with amino acids for about the next three hours. The latter are digested and absorbed more gradually, and begin supplying amino acids two hours after having been ingested, and for the next six hours. Slow protein therefore continues the work begun by the faster kind, and promotes muscle anabolism for a longer period of time.

Milk naturally contains a mix of fast protein (20% whey) and slow protein (80% casein), which makes it a very good protein source for recovery.

What amount of protein should you consume?

Recommended intake is generally somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5 g for every kilogram of bodyweight daily; and up to 2 g if you wish to increase muscle mass quickly. We meed to ensure at least two thirds of our protein intake comes from our diet, and the rest from supplements with high biological value.

When should you consume protein?

The optimal intake period is during the early recovery phase (that is, immediately after exercising) when muscle anabolism is highest and requires high amino acid availability. It is recommended that you take 10 to 20 g within the first thirty minutes after exercising. For example, during the stretching which is usually done for five to ten minutes after exercising. In the case of prolonged and very significant effort, protein metabolism may be affected by the increased use of amino acids as an energy source. In this case, it is recommended that you take a special type of amino acid while exercising: branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine), as they reduce muscle protein degradation, delay muscle glycogen depletion (our muscles’ sugar supply), and may diminish central nervous system fatigue.

 

30

Sep

Reduce Sugar

Notice I don’t insist that you eliminate sugar totally. It would be great if you could, but I’m being realistic. Sugar is deeply embedded in our lives. It’s everywhere, hidden in unexpected foodstuffs such as tomato sauce, mayonnaise, and sauerkraut, and it’s a big part of the rituals surrounding meals and social exchanges ( serving a luscious dessert, bringing candy to a hostess). More to the point, we love it. Sugar is a truly addictive substance, no easier to quit than nicotine. Even cutting down on it is tough. So to bolster your resolve, consider whether the pleasure of that muffin in the morning is really worth suffering pain for. Or that bowl of granola (even “health food” cereals are full of sweetener)? Or that piece of cheesecake or glass of juice? Measure your enjoyment of these trees against your desire to get rid of your pain, and see which weighs heavier in the scale.

Sugar attaching to the proteins in fascia, triggering a chemical reaction that makes these proteins stiff and tough – the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve with the stretches. If this stiffening process goes on for a long time, the body views the affected tissue as foreign and attacks it, leading to an inflammatory reaction.

If like most of us you can’t live without something sweet, look for one of these ingredients on the label.

Stevia comes from the leaves of a naturally sweet plant and is available as a powder or liquid. It’s actually far sweeter than sugar, use just a tiny bit to avoid an unpleasant aftertaste.

Inositol is a naturally sweet nutrient found in many plant foods. You can get it as a powder to sprinkle on foods.

Harden your resolve, go through your cupboards, and toss out everything that looks like cookies, doughnuts, cakes, soda and juice ( even health food juices). All these products have sky-high sugared content. If you must have fruit, eat whole fruit, which includes fiber, the way nature intended you to eat it. ( Never eat fruit that’s frozen or packed in cans, which usually has sugar added to it).

Yes it is hard to live without dessert. But you don’t have to. I do my desert shopping in the health food store, finding products that use healthier sugar substitutes. Instead of a muffin or Danish in the morning, try a small bowl of organic oatmeal with a few drops of stevia and about a dozen chopped organic almonds or walnuts. Not only will you spare your body some inflammation-promoting sugar, you’ll get real nutrition that will keep you going until lunch, without needing a sugary snack at 11am.

 

22

Sep

Peroneal tendonitis

The tendons of peroneus longs and peroneus braves run from the peroneal muscles in the lateral calf to the foot. The peroneal muscles are involved in stabilising the foot and providing support to the ankle to prevent lateral rolling of the joint. Peroneal tendinitis is most commonly a result of overuse of the peroneal muscles or of inversion sprains which stretch the peroneal muscles have to work harder to stabilise the foot when it is printed.

Running and jumping involve repeated contraction of the peroneal muscles and can lead to  inflammation of their tendons. Runners who often run on uneven surfaces or have excessive pronation often develop peroneal tendinitis.

Cause of injury

Over-pronation of the foot during running or jumping. Prior ankle injury leading to an incorrect path of travel for the tendons.

Signs and symptoms

Pain and tenderness along the tendons. Pain is most severe at the beginning of the activity and diminishes as the activity continues. Gradual increase in pain over time.

Complications if left unattended

Unattended tendinitis can lead to a complete rupture of the tendons. Peroneal tendinitis can lead to subluxations. The chronic inflammation can also lead to damage to the ligaments surrounding the tendons.

Immediate treatment 

Rest, especially from running or jumping activities. Ice. Anti-inflammatory medication.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Stretching of the calf muscles and a gradual reintroduction into activity is important for rehabilitation. During the recovery period it is important to identify and correct  any foot or gait abnormalities that may be contributing to the problem. Prevention of this condition requires strong, flexible muscles of the lower leg to support the foot and ankle.

Long-term prognosis 

With proper treatment, peroneal tendinitis will usually heal completely with no lingering effects. In rare cases the tendinitis may not respond to traditional treatment and may require surgical intervention to relieve the pressure causing the inflammation. Orthotics to support the medial arch may be required in some cases.

09

Sep

Massage Gift Vouchers Watford

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE GOOD HEALTH!

Our Lucas Massage Therapy Gift Voucher session plan is an experience everyone will enjoy.

Whether the occasion is Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas, Graduation or Birthday – your massage is tailored to your specific needs.

We have worked with so many people who are THRILLED with their gift of massage. It really is a gift that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Order Gift Vouchers

 

Your choice of Sports & remedial / Deep – tissue massage

Massage Gift Vouchers WatfordMassage Gift Vouchers Watford

Massage Gift Vouchers WatfordMassage Gift Vouchers Watford

Massage Gift Vouchers WatfordMassage Gift Vouchers Watford

All of our gift vouchers are automatically emailed to you instantly
after purchase, so they’re perfect for a last minute gift.

 

Surprise someone you love with a
Lucas Massage Therapy Gift Voucher!  

 

 

 

The benefits of sports and deep-tissue massage include:

Faster recovery from injury
Reduced pain
Improved posture & circulation
Greater flexibility & range of motion
Prevention of injury
Improved performance
Reduced stress
Greater energy & more confidence
Functional muscle balance
or simply pure relaxation.

 

FEEL BETTER – MOVE BETTER – BE PAIN FREE

 

We can tailor your massage to your specific needs.
Our professional registered masseur Lucas can offer help and advise on:

Upper and lower back pain
Neck and shoulder pain
Rotator cuff injuries
Muscle strains
Sprain injuries
Knee injuries
Shin splints
Muscle imbalance
RSI (repetitive strain injury)
Tennis elbow
Sciatica
Whiplash
Tiredness and stress

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

Aug

Massage

Massage 

 has always been used as an aid to health, and by all manner of people. From mothers for children’s ailments, to nurses in respiratory care, and to osteopaths and medical therapists treating all types of conditions, it is used because it is effective. Not only is it a therapeutically useful technique, but it is also a very popular treatment. Subjectively it is known that massage feels good. 

Another bonus is to treat or relive a very wide variety of conditions. Perhaps not always as the main prescriptive medicine, but as a strong adjunct. Clients turn to massage therapists for many reasons. Obviously, sports massage has developed for sports people, and it is universally accepted. Massage can be helpful for musculoskeletal injuries. Massage therapy is also widely used for such wide-ranging conditions. As anxiety, depression, palliative cancer care, fibromyalgia, asthma, arthritis, constipation, headache, migraine, multiple sclerosis and insomnia.

Whether the object is to use specific massage techniques to attend to specific dysfunctions and injuries. The object is to generate a relaxation effect. The therapy is more than useful and will always be considered to be so.

Deep tissue massage  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.

Sports massage can aid the prevention of injury as well as speeding up recovery time by helping with mobilisation, the stretching of muscles to their full length and potential, and by stimulating your lymphatic system.  Anyone can benefit from this treatment, you don’t have to be an athlete to have an injury! Most athletes today  include it in their lifestyle, if you are training or playing sports regularly, or are just an active person. Lucas also offers a wide range of advice for stretching, strengthening exercises, diet, and many other aspects relating to training and good posture

14

Aug

Sports injuries

Sports injuries

Regardless of where the injury occurs within the body, or the seriousness of the injury, sports injuries are commonly classified in one of two ways: acute or chronic.

Acute injuries

These refer to sports injuries that occur in an instant. Common examples of acute injuries are bone fractures, muscle and tendon strains, ligament sprains and contusions. Acute injuries usually result in pain, swelling, tenderness, weakness and the inability to use or place wight on the injured area.

Chronic injuries

These refer to sports injuries that occur over an extended period of time and are sometimes called overuse injuries. Common examples of chronic injuries are tendinitis, bursitis and stress fractures. Chronic injuries, like acute injuries, also result in pain, swelling, tenderness, weakness and the inability to use or place weight on the injured area.

 

How are sports injuries classified?

As well as classifying a sports injury as acute or chronic, sports injuries are also classified according to their severity. Injuries are graded into one of three classifications: mild, moderate or severe.

Mild

A mild sports injury will result in minimal pain and swelling. It will not adversely affect sporting performance and the affected area is neither tender to touch nor deformed in any way.

Moderate

A moderate sports injury will result in some pain and swelling. It will have a limiting affect on sporting performance and the affected area will be mildly tender to touch. Some discolouration at injury site may also be present.

Severe

A severe sports injury will result in increased pain and swelling. It will not only affect sporting performance but will also affect normal daily activities. The injury site is usually very tender to touch, and discolouration and deformity are common.