SPORTS AND REMEDIAL MASSAGE – SOFT TISSUE THERAPY
Sports and Remedial Massage is good for:
- Soft tissue strains, sprains and general tension
- Post injury / post-operative recovery and rehabilitation
- Postural issues e.g. poor posture at desk
- Improving range of movement
- Managing pain / discomfort caused by a variety of conditions, e.g.:
- Sciatic symptoms
- Back problems, e.g. herniated disc or scoliosis
- Repetitive strain injury
- Tendinitis, e.g. tennis and golfer’s elbow
- Frozen shoulder
- Plantar fasciitis
Soft Tissue Therapy Treatment
Soft tissue therapy requires an in-depth anatomy and physiology knowledge and involves range of movement, orthopaedic and muscle tests where necessary to inform the treatment. The massage element basically consists of deep tissue techniques, plus some others such as myofascial release. In addition, I use a range of other techniques that help to target problem areas, particularly various types of stretches to stretch and relax muscles, help to tackle fibrotic tissues and potentially improve posture. These stretches include soft tissue release, post-isometric relaxation, reciprocal inhibition and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). These all sound very technical(!), but basically they each have a slightly different approach, often involving the neurological receptors in the muscles. I also use neuromuscular technique (NMT) / trigger point work to release points of tension, and this involves holding a point for up to a minute until the discomfort subsides. So it is quite an interactive form of therapy.
Soft Tissue Therapy Homecare Advice
Homecare advice is given to follow on from the treatment and is an important part of the holistic care of the patient. This could be a wide range of suggestions, from types of stretching and strengthening to exercises such as yoga or swimming, to postural suggestions and breathing techniques. I help to make people more aware of their posture and technique in various activities so that they can try to correct certain imbalances and hence prevent future tension/problems. For example, if someone carries a heavy bag on one shoulder over a long period, there maybe be one shoulder higher than the other; or if a parent carries their baby on one hip, the muscles can get tight and the hip, hitched. So it’s good to balance weight where possible. These are just two simple samples. Many sports are one-sided, for example, holding a racquet in your dominant hand and moving/twisting your body to one side more than the other. This can make some muscles tighter on one side than the other, and I have seen rotated and tilted hips from these sorts of things. The treatment and rehab advice help to address these issues. Massage, in general, helps you to become more aware of your body and how you use it.
Sports Massage is also Soft Tissue Therapy
People can understandably get a bit confused about the terminology of different types of massage therapy, especially as things change and evolve quite fast these days and new terms are introduced. I prefer the term soft tissue therapy to sports massage as the latter implies I just treat sporty people, and that’s not the case. Yes, I treat sports-related issues, but this type of therapy is also good for recovery and rehab from other types of injuries or operations, minor strains or tension caused by lifestyle or work.