What to expect on first visit?
On a full session of 60 minutes (recommended for your first visit) the paperwork is the first step. Getting as much information about your lifestyle and exercise routine are one of the most important aspects of assessment.
Once the information has been collected there would be a more detailed look into the injured site. History of the condition, what may have caused it, and what symptoms you currently have would be among the top priorities. Any bruising or swelling, special tests and movement limitations are just to name a few routes to take on assessment.
Once the injury has been assessed fully, the therapist will then give you his opinion on what the next steps should be. The quicker you see a therapist the better it is for your injury, so if you do have any problems please do book in ASAP to ensure the healing process is at a top quality.
Sport and Remedial Massage
- Massage helps in a countless number of ways, whether you are injured or uninjured. For body builders it can help build muscle by improving circulation and aid in the breakdown of muscle fibres. In order for muscles to grow they need to be broken in small doses first, this is why you ache the day after a good workout!Massage can also help with flexibility and reduce tightness/stiffness in the muscles. In doing this it will also help with your performance when training.Having a regular massage in your target area will really help with injury prevention too. Those small niggles that can irritate you can slowly become a more severe problem. Get them fixed while they’re still a small concern!
Massage of course is also known to help relieve stress, particularly in the upper back area. If you suffer with headaches it would be recommended to see a therapist, just to give it a go. A massage on the back of your neck can really help.
By regularly realigning your muscle fibres and being checked over for any possible future issue, you can have a better piece of mind when you train. The worst thing that can happen is you get into a rhythm and something twinges. Don’t let it happen to you!
Seeing a therapist on a regular basis can really help you avoid injury, however it doesn’t make you invincible. Being sensible and knowing your limits are of course the best things you can do to avoid injury.
If the worst is to happen and you suffer with an injury, be it a small strain or a complete tear, rehabilitation back to full fitness is essential to get your strength back as it was pre-injury. The rehabilitation process is a vital aspect and will often be given to you as daily homework.
If your job involves a lot of driving, being at a desk or heavy lifting, lower back injuries are going to be a high possibility if not already occurring. Work-based problems are treatable and with enough information, fixed completely. There is always an alternative way to lift/sit/etc, especially if you are in pain.
Hot and Cold Treatment
These are a typical way to “Warm-up” and “Cool-down” the client. Heat therapy is also fantastic to stimulate bloodflow during a massage, and helps you relax during the session. Cold treatment is great for pain management, reduce swelling and stimulate the lymphatic flow. The lymphatic system is one which is important if you’re suffering with an injury, so to use ice at the correct time will really help the healing process.
Mobilizing the joints are a fantastic way to help the flow of movement. Creaky joints and inhibited movements are not what you need when training, so to help keep smooth movements and prevent future possibility of arthritis or cartilage damage, this is the type of treatment you need for your joints. The type of treatment you get would of course depend on your injury. With muscular strains the method would be very different in comparison to a twisted ankle joint. Mobilisation key ingredient to help with joint dysfunction. The therapist will passively move a joint in multiple planes and angles, as well as using mobilisation techniques such as the Maitland technique, or mobilisation with movement (MWM’s)
Taping and Strapping
There is a lot of controversial research on taping and strapping, and those of you who have met different therapists will know everybody has a different opinion on it. Depending on what it is used for, will depend on the benefits, but on the whole it can do only better for the client. Using taping correctly can help prevent you from overstretching, support a torn ligament, and ultimately aid in posture correction.
If you want to gain more flexibility, feel tight in your hamstrings for example, there are stretching techniques that can help improve this. STR and MET are the most commonly used by Kieran, both effective and specific to a certain muscle group. Be sure not to get confused between flexibility and stiffness however; in some cases movement is the key to comfort.
Dry needling is a technique similar to acupuncture that is primarily used for trigger points and general aches and pains. It involves very thin needles (as thin as 0.18mm, less than one fifth of a millimetre!) which penetrate the soft tissue but very differently to injection needles. Hypodermic needles are hollow and much thicker, as they extract fluid from the body. The tip also has a cutting edge whereas the dry needle is rounded and flexible, so it is much less likely to draw blood or cause any bleeding/bruising under the skin.
In Lehmans terms dry needling can help destress both physically and psychologically, and release trigger points/spasms within a muscle. In some cases it can also accelerate healing of an injury such as an Achilles strain. Dry needling is of course avoided on inflammatory injuries so not to further aggravate the issue however