Energize Sports Massage,14  Birnam Road, Wallasey, Wirral, CH44 9AX, Tel: 07768225580, Email: energizesportsmassage@yahoo.co.uk

Energize Sports Massage

Soccer Injuries Vinfographic

Posted 6 days ago
<p>Swimming is one of the most popular sports in the world. We swim in the sea, pools, lakes, streams, rivers and even ponds. And given 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, we’re not short of opportunities.</p><p>And while swimming is considered a ‘low-impact’ sport due to the fact that the water supports a large percentage of, more than 84% of regular swimmers suffer from some type of overuse type injury caused by swimming.</p><p>Why? The main reason is the high repetition number and forceful nature of the shoulder revolutions which takes our shoulder joint through its full range of motion (which is one of the greatest of all our joints), against resistance, over and over again.</p><p>And as 50-90% of the power generated to propel you forward comes from the shoulders, you can see why they are the most frequently injured joint.</p><p>However, swimming also puts stress on your back, to hold you level in the water; on the neck when raising your head out of the water to breathe and if you favour breaststroke as a stroke, there’s added pressure from the unnatural twisting motion on the knees.</p><p>So, despite it seeming to be a low-impact sport, swimming actually carries a surprisingly high risk of injury.</p><p>Let’s take a look at those injuries, why they happen and what you can do about them.</p><p>Swimming injuries generally stem from two sources, and often these sources will combine:</p><ol><li>Muscle imbalances</li><li>Stroke technique issues</li></ol><p>Muscle Imbalances</p><p>Our everyday posture, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting at desk or in a car, or generally not moving around, creates all sorts of muscle imbalances from short hamstrings, tight muscles around the neck, back and shoulders. We unconsciously adopt a curved forward upper back, round shoulders and chin poke, which not only add to shoulder problems in swimmers but neck pain too.</p><p>Poor posture is the biggest culprit of short tight trapezius and pectoral muscles and weak anterior (front) neck and upper back muscles. These muscles can be painful and develop trigger points which are hyperactive spots in the muscle, commonly referring pain and causing headaches. Tight muscles may also limit your neck movements. Good posture ensures good alignment of the joints and ligaments which allows for optimal contraction of your muscles and off-loads underlying structures.</p><p>Stroke Technique</p><p>This a big topic to cover because it depends what stroke you’re swimming mostly with and what kind of injury you may have but issues include: a wide, swinging arm recovery which requires excessive internal rotation, causing impingement on the joint; thumb in first with hand entry, which again causes excessive internal rotation in the shoulder and a dropped elbow or straight arm pull through which creates a long lever and overloads the shoulder.</p><p>In our set of resources which you can <a href="http://bit.ly/30HaiK9">download at this link</a> we’ve put together a Stroke Technique Cheat Sheet which for each injury area, identifies key stroke issues, with suggested solutions.</p><p>What does all of this mean to you? You shouldn’t swim? You should reduce your training or change your sport?</p><p>The bottom line is that the benefits of swimming - whether it’s for general fitness and physical activity, the desire to win competitions, or just to find your quiet place for stress relief - far outweigh the risk of injury.</p><p>And with this in mind, we’ve put together a set of resources to help you manage, or better yet prevent, swimming injuries altogether.</p><p>These resources include:</p><ul><li>Stroke Technique and Injury Cheat Sheet</li><li>Common Swimming Injuries Cheat Sheet</li><li>Sink or Swim? Treating and Preventing Swimming Injuries</li><li>Swimmer’s Shoulder - Advice and Exercise Rehabilitation Leaflet</li><li>Breaststroker’s Knee - Advice and Exercise Rehabilitation Leaflet</li><li>Muscle Cramp in Swimmers - Advice Leaflet</li><li>Back Pain in Swimmers - Advice and Exercise Leaflets</li><li>Neck Pain in Swimmers - Advice and Exercise Leaflet</li></ul><p>The resources are packed with practical tips and advice, along with exercise leaflets that combine to help you swimming happily, healthily and injury free into the future.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/30HaiK9">You can download the resources here.</a></p>

Swimming is one of the most popular sports in the world. We swim in the sea, pools, lakes, streams, rivers and even ponds. And given 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, we’re not short of opportunities.

And while swimming is considered a ‘low-impact’ sport due to the fact that the water supports a large percentage of, more than 84% of regular swimmers suffer from some type of overuse type injury caused by swimming.

Why? The main reason is the high repetition number and forceful nature of the shoulder revolutions which takes our shoulder joint through its full range of motion (which is one of the greatest of all our joints), against resistance, over and over again.

And as 50-90% of the power generated to propel you forward comes from the shoulders, you can see why they are the most frequently injured joint.

However, swimming also puts stress on your back, to hold you level in the water; on the neck when raising your head out of the water to breathe and if you favour breaststroke as a stroke, there’s added pressure from the unnatural twisting motion on the knees.

So, despite it seeming to be a low-impact sport, swimming actually carries a surprisingly high risk of injury.

Let’s take a look at those injuries, why they happen and what you can do about them.

Swimming injuries generally stem from two sources, and often these sources will combine:

  1. Muscle imbalances
  2. Stroke technique issues

Muscle Imbalances

Our everyday posture, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting at desk or in a car, or generally not moving around, creates all sorts of muscle imbalances from short hamstrings, tight muscles around the neck, back and shoulders. We unconsciously adopt a curved forward upper back, round shoulders and chin poke, which not only add to shoulder problems in swimmers but neck pain too.

Poor posture is the biggest culprit of short tight trapezius and pectoral muscles and weak anterior (front) neck and upper back muscles. These muscles can be painful and develop trigger points which are hyperactive spots in the muscle, commonly referring pain and causing headaches. Tight muscles may also limit your neck movements. Good posture ensures good alignment of the joints and ligaments which allows for optimal contraction of your muscles and off-loads underlying structures.

Stroke Technique

This a big topic to cover because it depends what stroke you’re swimming mostly with and what kind of injury you may have but issues include: a wide, swinging arm recovery which requires excessive internal rotation, causing impingement on the joint; thumb in first with hand entry, which again causes excessive internal rotation in the shoulder and a dropped elbow or straight arm pull through which creates a long lever and overloads the shoulder.

In our set of resources which you can download at this link we’ve put together a Stroke Technique Cheat Sheet which for each injury area, identifies key stroke issues, with suggested solutions.

What does all of this mean to you? You shouldn’t swim? You should reduce your training or change your sport?

The bottom line is that the benefits of swimming - whether it’s for general fitness and physical activity, the desire to win competitions, or just to find your quiet place for stress relief - far outweigh the risk of injury.

And with this in mind, we’ve put together a set of resources to help you manage, or better yet prevent, swimming injuries altogether.

These resources include:

  • Stroke Technique and Injury Cheat Sheet
  • Common Swimming Injuries Cheat Sheet
  • Sink or Swim? Treating and Preventing Swimming Injuries
  • Swimmer’s Shoulder - Advice and Exercise Rehabilitation Leaflet
  • Breaststroker’s Knee - Advice and Exercise Rehabilitation Leaflet
  • Muscle Cramp in Swimmers - Advice Leaflet
  • Back Pain in Swimmers - Advice and Exercise Leaflets
  • Neck Pain in Swimmers - Advice and Exercise Leaflet

The resources are packed with practical tips and advice, along with exercise leaflets that combine to help you swimming happily, healthily and injury free into the future.

You can download the resources here.

Posted 1 week ago

Pain Is As Individual As the Person Experiencing It

image

Pain means different things to different people, in different contexts, and based on different experiences. Acute, short-lived pain following a traumatic injury, in many cases heals. The pain that becomes increasingly hard to live with and manage, is the pain that has persisted month after month and often year after year, particularly when the source often can’t be diagnosed.

Living with chronic pain is almost a disease in itself. It slowly and progressively eats away at you, your confidence, self- worth, and independence. It can consume your life and thoughts, often alienating you from your friends and family even your workplace.

Living with pain is exhausting, lack of sleep, anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with pain, which in turn can lead to anger and frustration and problems with your relationships at home and with yourself.

And the physical pain can stop you from doing things you love, like taking walks, playing sports and socializing, which also has an impact on your mental health.

You know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”, well we believe it takes an army to survive and thrive with chronic pain. Although it’s important that you are in control and are the driver of your pain management, it would be unrealistic to assume you can do this alone. You need the support of friends and family, work colleges or associates and pain specialists and therapists.

Sport and massage therapists are experts in handling pain, finding the source of the pain and treating your body holistically. Massage and physical therapy can be very beneficial in managing chronic pain by promoting joint movement, using exercises to reduce stiffness and improve muscle strength – all of which can reduce your pain and improve your mobility which may help with daily activities. Specific nerve mobility treatments can help reduce sensitivity to pain and massage has always been a trusty stalwart as it reduces stress and anxiety as well as pain.

This month we’ve put together a range of resources that can help you learn to manage this pain, whatever pain level you’re at.

We have leaflets on the following topics:

-          The Strain of Pain: Dispelling the myths behind chronic pain with strategies for managing your pain

-          Understanding Chronic Pain

-          Skills to Cope with Chronic Pain

-          How Massage Therapy Can Help You if You Suffer from Chronic Pain

-          How Pain Affects Your Life (infographic)

-          Relaxation for Chronic Pain (exercise handout)

-          Building Activity into Your Everyday Life If You Suffer from Musculoskeletal Pain

-          Chronic Pain: Tips for Managing Activity Levels

These resources are packed with practical tips and advice, along with worksheets, exercise leaflets and infographics that combine to help you master your chronic pain.

You can download the resources here https://t.co/TinuAk2UkV

If you’re living with pain on a regular basis, there are many ways we can help so if you need advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

And if you know anyone who could benefit from any of these resources, please feel free to share this blog post with them.

Posted 9 weeks ago
<p><b>Add Days to
Your Life AND Life to Your Days</b></p><p>Numerous
people are living much longer and life expectancy is now at its all-time high,
the fact that so many people are living longer, well into their eighties and nineties
is a wonderful ideal. However, the sad reality is that living longer doesn’t
always include a good quality of life, it’s not a package deal. </p><p>Many
people end up feeling like they’ve become a financial, physical and emotional
burden on their families as they outlive their children and their pensions.
Losing independence and  swallowing
handfuls of pills every day, and requiring nursing care is not the way most
people would choose to spend their last years. </p><p>There
are steps you can take to reduce the risk of this outcome. Making a conscious
decision to take small steps (literally) from today, could make all the
difference in your life going forward. </p><p> Exercise or physical activity (PA) when
performed regularly, has been proven to prevent and help manage more than 20
chronic conditions. These include coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2
diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal
conditions. Sadly, you can’t bank the benefits of exercise from your youth.
Ideally being active throughout your lifespan would give optimal health
benefits, however research has shown the health gains achieved through PA can
be attained at any time. So, it doesn’t matter when you start as long as you
start! </p><p>.Physical activity includes all forms of exercise, such
as everyday walking or cycling to get from A to B, active play, work-related
activity and active recreation; such as working out in a gym, dancing,
gardening or playing active games, as well as organised and competitive sport.
You don’t have to  sign up for an IronMan
Ultra-Triathlon or become the next Crossfit Superhuman</p><p>Physical
inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for death. The latest research
shows that a sedentary life is as great a risk factor as smoking and obesity,
for heart disease risk. Sedentary behaviour is not simply a lack of activity
but a cluster of individual behaviours where sitting or lying is the dominant
mode of posture, and energy expenditure is very low. </p><p>Inactivity
was always associated as a cause of being overweight or obese, which in turn
results in an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, the most
current research has shown that even normal weight individuals that are
inactive, are at risk of developing disease. </p><p>While
you can blame it on your job or school that forces you to sit for hours in a
day, you can also mitigate the negative effects with just 60-75 minutes of
moderate intensity PA a day. </p><p>Regardless
of your activity starting point, there are benefits to be gained for anyone who
increases their activity levels. Individuals that follow the recommended
physical activity guidelines have shown to have optimal health benefits of a
39% reduced risk of dying from any disease. However, anything is better than
nothing – even doing half the amount of the recommended weekly activity has
shown a 20% lower risk of mortality.</p><p>Regular physical activity
roughly halves your chance of developing some cancers, like bowel and breast
cancer. Studies have shown that people who continued to exercise once diagnosed
with cancer had significantly less cancer deaths and any-cause death than those
who were inactive.</p><p>If you’d like to know more,
you can download our <b>Gold Standard
Physical Activity Recommendations leaflet</b>, along with additional exercise
advice for people suffering from the following conditions, all of which can
benefit significantly with regular physical activity.</p><p>1.      
Staying Healthy and Preventing
Disease</p><p>2.     
COPD</p><p>3.      
Depression</p><p>4.     
Musculoskeletal Pain</p><p>5.      
Type 2 Diabetes</p><p>6.     
Cancer</p><p>7.      
Dementia</p><p>8.     
Falls and Frailty</p><p>9.     
Inflammatory Arthritis and
Osteoarthritis</p><p>10.  
Heart Disease</p><p>You can download all the
leaflets at the following link .<a href="http://bit.ly/2S3pgnW">http://bit.ly/2S3pgnW</a> </p>

Add Days to Your Life AND Life to Your Days

Numerous people are living much longer and life expectancy is now at its all-time high, the fact that so many people are living longer, well into their eighties and nineties is a wonderful ideal. However, the sad reality is that living longer doesn’t always include a good quality of life, it’s not a package deal.

Many people end up feeling like they’ve become a financial, physical and emotional burden on their families as they outlive their children and their pensions. Losing independence and  swallowing handfuls of pills every day, and requiring nursing care is not the way most people would choose to spend their last years.

There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of this outcome. Making a conscious decision to take small steps (literally) from today, could make all the difference in your life going forward.

Exercise or physical activity (PA) when performed regularly, has been proven to prevent and help manage more than 20 chronic conditions. These include coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions. Sadly, you can’t bank the benefits of exercise from your youth. Ideally being active throughout your lifespan would give optimal health benefits, however research has shown the health gains achieved through PA can be attained at any time. So, it doesn’t matter when you start as long as you start!

.Physical activity includes all forms of exercise, such as everyday walking or cycling to get from A to B, active play, work-related activity and active recreation; such as working out in a gym, dancing, gardening or playing active games, as well as organised and competitive sport. You don’t have to  sign up for an IronMan Ultra-Triathlon or become the next Crossfit Superhuman

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for death. The latest research shows that a sedentary life is as great a risk factor as smoking and obesity, for heart disease risk. Sedentary behaviour is not simply a lack of activity but a cluster of individual behaviours where sitting or lying is the dominant mode of posture, and energy expenditure is very low.

Inactivity was always associated as a cause of being overweight or obese, which in turn results in an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, the most current research has shown that even normal weight individuals that are inactive, are at risk of developing disease.

While you can blame it on your job or school that forces you to sit for hours in a day, you can also mitigate the negative effects with just 60-75 minutes of moderate intensity PA a day.

Regardless of your activity starting point, there are benefits to be gained for anyone who increases their activity levels. Individuals that follow the recommended physical activity guidelines have shown to have optimal health benefits of a 39% reduced risk of dying from any disease. However, anything is better than nothing – even doing half the amount of the recommended weekly activity has shown a 20% lower risk of mortality.

Regular physical activity roughly halves your chance of developing some cancers, like bowel and breast cancer. Studies have shown that people who continued to exercise once diagnosed with cancer had significantly less cancer deaths and any-cause death than those who were inactive.

If you’d like to know more, you can download our Gold Standard Physical Activity Recommendations leaflet, along with additional exercise advice for people suffering from the following conditions, all of which can benefit significantly with regular physical activity.

1.       Staying Healthy and Preventing Disease

2.      COPD

3.       Depression

4.      Musculoskeletal Pain

5.       Type 2 Diabetes

6.      Cancer

7.       Dementia

8.      Falls and Frailty

9.      Inflammatory Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

10.   Heart Disease

You can download all the leaflets at the following link .http://bit.ly/2S3pgnW

Posted 16 weeks ago

Golf:  Is it the Most Dangerous Sport?

 The PGA may not look like it has much in common with professional rugby - but you may be surprised to learn that golfers are actually injured more often than rugby players.

It’s true.

 In fact, 62% of amateurs and 85% of professionals will sustain a significant injury associated with playing golf.

And with a staggering 60 million golfers worldwide - that’s a whole lot of people getting injured.

 The problem is, and professional golfers often overuse their muscles with frequent play and amateur golfers are usually out of shape or have poor swing mechanics,.

 Trauma to the lower back accounts for one third of all injuries and can happen to anyone regardless of age or ability.

 There are a two logical reasons for this.

 Firstly, compared to other sports, golf puts a lot of pressure on your spine. Consider the average golf swing produces a compression load on your back equal to 8 times your body weight, whereas a sport like running produces a compression load just 3 times your body weight.  

 Secondly, a good golf swing requires significant club-head speed, which is something that is only achieved by applying a lot of torque (force) and torsion (twisting) throughout your lower back

 Golfers experiencing low back pain typically have one of the following types of injuries:

  • Disc Injury
  • Altered Joint Mechanics or Motor Control
  • Degenerative Arthritis
  • Bone Fracture
  • Muscle Strain or Ligamentous Sprain

Other top golf-related injuries include trauma to the elbow, wrist/hand or shoulder. (So much for golf being a low-impact activity!)

 It’s helpful to understand not only the types of injuries associated with golf but also the main causes of injury which include:

  • Inadequate warm-up routine
  • Frequency of repetitive practice (overworked     muscles)
  • Suboptimal swing mechanics
  • Poor overall physical conditioning

With the average recovery time lasting 2-4 weeks, addressing the main causes of injury is well worth the effort.

So, the question is - How can you enjoy the wonderful game of golf while reducing your risk of injury?

The simple answer is through targeted and routine conditioning.  Golf requires strength, endurance, flexibility and explosive power in order to play the game well - and not hurt yourself in the process.

Physical conditioning routines designed specifically for golfers can help you stay on the green and out of pain.

And as a bonus, conditioning your body to avoid injury while playing golf also helps you improve your game.

An 11-week targeted conditioning program found participants:

  • Increased their clubhead speed by 7%
  • Improved their strength up to 56%
  • Improved their flexibility up to 39%
  • Increased their drive distance up to 15 yards with     sustained accuracy

Whether you’re a casual golfer or serious about your game we can help you avoid injury and improve your skills. That’s why we’d like to share with you our free informational fact sheets on Golf Injury Prevention.

These fact sheets are completely free to download and are packed full of useful information to help you reduce your risk of injury while becoming a stronger golfer.

Download them here. https://www.co-kinetic.com/landing/page?user_id=1577&campaign_id=808 

And be sure to check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EnergizeSportsMassageWirral/  where we’re posting fun, informative tips and tricks to help you stay injury-free - whatever you’re doing.

Posted 36 weeks ago
<p><b>Fact: </b>It is estimated that<b> </b>between 35-43% of the UK population is
estimated to suffer from chronic pain, that’s 28 million people. It accounts
for 40% of time off work and costs the NHS over £10 billion pounds a year.</p><p><b>Fact:</b> It is estimated that 37% of the
population of developed countries and 41% of developing countries, suffer from
chronic pain.</p><p><a href="https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010364">https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010364</a></p><p>It
is one of the most common reasons why people visit a massage
therapist accounting for up to
40% of visits.</p><p>Other
common reasons include rehabbing sports injuries, relief of pain from accidents or
muscle strains, relief of stress and as a form of preventative health care. </p><p>And
also, just that good old relaxation that can only come from human touch. </p><p><b>What is massage therapy, exactly?</b></p><p>People
with specific massage therapy training will have gone to school or college and
received skilled instruction in the manual manipulation of the body’s soft
tissues, including muscles, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments. </p><p>They
are highly knowledgeable about anatomy and physiology and are skilled
diagnosticians with regards to chronic pain and how to treat it. </p><p>The
underlying idea behind massage therapy is that a relaxed and loose muscular
structure promotes the flow of energy through the body, which enables the body
to maintain health and heal itself, without resorting to drugs or surgery.</p><p>Here
are some common massage therapy modalities that you may encounter, ranging from
simple relaxation to treatment of complex pain issues and connective tissue
realignment. </p><p><b>Swedish Massage</b></p><p>This
is your standard relaxation massage. Swedish massage is very popular in spa
settings. </p><p>As
one of the most popular types of bodywork performed today, the overarching goal
of Swedish massage is the ultimate relaxation of the entire body. It is
exceptional at achieving this, easing tension while promoting the release of
environmental toxins stored in the body’s fat and epidermis layers while
simultaneously increasing the oxygen levels in the blood.</p><p>Swedish
massage has also been shown to produce significant reductions in the stress
hormone, cortisol. </p><p><b>Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial Release</b></p><p>A
trigger point is a small area of tightly bound and ‘knotted’ muscle that will
produce referred pain into another part of the body when pressed upon. For
example, a trigger point in the rhomboid muscle in the upper back can produce
headache-like pain at the base of the skull. </p><p>Trigger
points such as these are often misdiagnosed as migraines.</p><p>Trigger
points range in severity from mildly annoying to completely debilitative. The
affected muscle fibres are in a permanently shortened and tense state, and can
even pinch nearby nerves, producing even more related symptoms, sometimes
spiraling into full-blown fibromyalgia, a disorder of the connective tissues. </p><p>This
is one area where massage therapy has a distinct advantage over every other
form of treatment. Conventional medicine’s answer to trigger points is usually
an injection of a local anesthetic or a corticosteroid injection. Both of which
are temporary, unnatural treatments and in the case of the corticosteroid,
actually damaging to the tissues. </p><p>Massage
therapy treats these by the application of pressure directly to the trigger
point, going over time from light to very deep, (usually within the same
session) whereupon the trigger point will begin to release and relax. </p><p>Follow-up
treatment is nearly always needed to retrain the muscle fibers to lengthen and “smooth”
back out. A good massage therapist can often boast a near 100% success rate
with trigger point therapy, even when other treatments have failed. </p><p><i>Myofascial release</i> is a broader application
of this type of therapy that seeks to restore mobility and function to the
body’s underlying network of connective tissue that is present in every muscle
in the body. It improves lymph circulation (keeping the blood clean) and
enhances the muscle’s natural stretch reflex, keeping the body supple and
strong. </p><p>It
should be noted that these types of massage therapy are not the same as a
relaxing Swedish massage and can sometimes be quite painful as the body relaxes,
releases, and returns to normal homeostasis. It’s important to communicate to
us during your treatment if you are uncomfortable at any time.</p><p>Both
of these modalities are often incorporated into sports massage along with other
techniques such as muscle energy (a form of assisted stretching).</p><p><b>Sports Massage</b></p><p>The
term sports massage implies the focus is just on the athletic population. From
the highest level of competition, to the casual weekend warrior, sports massage
therapists can be found everywhere from weekend 5ks to professional locker
rooms and Olympic fields. </p><p>However
over time it has also become known among the general public as an alternative
name for a deep tissue massage. Its benefits are not just for the athletic
population and it has great value for people with occupational induced injuries
and conditions. This may be due to repetitive strain or poor posture induced by
working conditions (sitting at a computer for hours or driving long distances).</p><p>For
the athlete sports massage focuses on both pre- and post- event training and
recovery. </p><p>Pre-
event for example, may involve stimulating a stretch reflex in the quadriceps
muscle of a runner to help lengthen her stride, with repeated treatments
resulting in a faster runner who is less prone to injury. </p><p>Post-event
can take the form of a light, relaxing massage to stimulate healing blood flow
to an overused muscle group, enabling the athlete to recover safer and faster,
and enable them to perform at the top of their game sooner than otherwise would
be the case. </p><p>Rather
than a specific technique as in trigger point or myofascial therapies, sport
massage focuses on the dual goals of athletic performance and recovery and may
borrow heavily on other modalities to achieve these ends. </p><p><b>The tip of the proverbial iceberg…</b></p><p>The
above is by no means a comprehensive list of massage therapy modalities. There
are literally dozens of different types of massage, used in everything from
lymphatic drainage, body realignment, even neuromuscular therapy that seeks to
balance the nervous system.</p>

Fact: It is estimated that between 35-43% of the UK population is estimated to suffer from chronic pain, that’s 28 million people. It accounts for 40% of time off work and costs the NHS over £10 billion pounds a year.

Fact: It is estimated that 37% of the population of developed countries and 41% of developing countries, suffer from chronic pain.

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010364

It is one of the most common reasons why people visit a massage therapist accounting for up to 40% of visits.

Other common reasons include rehabbing sports injuries, relief of pain from accidents or muscle strains, relief of stress and as a form of preventative health care.

And also, just that good old relaxation that can only come from human touch.

What is massage therapy, exactly?

People with specific massage therapy training will have gone to school or college and received skilled instruction in the manual manipulation of the body’s soft tissues, including muscles, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments.

They are highly knowledgeable about anatomy and physiology and are skilled diagnosticians with regards to chronic pain and how to treat it.

The underlying idea behind massage therapy is that a relaxed and loose muscular structure promotes the flow of energy through the body, which enables the body to maintain health and heal itself, without resorting to drugs or surgery.

Here are some common massage therapy modalities that you may encounter, ranging from simple relaxation to treatment of complex pain issues and connective tissue realignment.

Swedish Massage

This is your standard relaxation massage. Swedish massage is very popular in spa settings.

As one of the most popular types of bodywork performed today, the overarching goal of Swedish massage is the ultimate relaxation of the entire body. It is exceptional at achieving this, easing tension while promoting the release of environmental toxins stored in the body’s fat and epidermis layers while simultaneously increasing the oxygen levels in the blood.

Swedish massage has also been shown to produce significant reductions in the stress hormone, cortisol.

Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial Release

A trigger point is a small area of tightly bound and ‘knotted’ muscle that will produce referred pain into another part of the body when pressed upon. For example, a trigger point in the rhomboid muscle in the upper back can produce headache-like pain at the base of the skull.

Trigger points such as these are often misdiagnosed as migraines.

Trigger points range in severity from mildly annoying to completely debilitative. The affected muscle fibres are in a permanently shortened and tense state, and can even pinch nearby nerves, producing even more related symptoms, sometimes spiraling into full-blown fibromyalgia, a disorder of the connective tissues.

This is one area where massage therapy has a distinct advantage over every other form of treatment. Conventional medicine’s answer to trigger points is usually an injection of a local anesthetic or a corticosteroid injection. Both of which are temporary, unnatural treatments and in the case of the corticosteroid, actually damaging to the tissues.

Massage therapy treats these by the application of pressure directly to the trigger point, going over time from light to very deep, (usually within the same session) whereupon the trigger point will begin to release and relax.

Follow-up treatment is nearly always needed to retrain the muscle fibers to lengthen and “smooth” back out. A good massage therapist can often boast a near 100% success rate with trigger point therapy, even when other treatments have failed.

Myofascial release is a broader application of this type of therapy that seeks to restore mobility and function to the body’s underlying network of connective tissue that is present in every muscle in the body. It improves lymph circulation (keeping the blood clean) and enhances the muscle’s natural stretch reflex, keeping the body supple and strong.

It should be noted that these types of massage therapy are not the same as a relaxing Swedish massage and can sometimes be quite painful as the body relaxes, releases, and returns to normal homeostasis. It’s important to communicate to us during your treatment if you are uncomfortable at any time.

Both of these modalities are often incorporated into sports massage along with other techniques such as muscle energy (a form of assisted stretching).

Sports Massage

The term sports massage implies the focus is just on the athletic population. From the highest level of competition, to the casual weekend warrior, sports massage therapists can be found everywhere from weekend 5ks to professional locker rooms and Olympic fields.

However over time it has also become known among the general public as an alternative name for a deep tissue massage. Its benefits are not just for the athletic population and it has great value for people with occupational induced injuries and conditions. This may be due to repetitive strain or poor posture induced by working conditions (sitting at a computer for hours or driving long distances).

For the athlete sports massage focuses on both pre- and post- event training and recovery.

Pre- event for example, may involve stimulating a stretch reflex in the quadriceps muscle of a runner to help lengthen her stride, with repeated treatments resulting in a faster runner who is less prone to injury.

Post-event can take the form of a light, relaxing massage to stimulate healing blood flow to an overused muscle group, enabling the athlete to recover safer and faster, and enable them to perform at the top of their game sooner than otherwise would be the case.

Rather than a specific technique as in trigger point or myofascial therapies, sport massage focuses on the dual goals of athletic performance and recovery and may borrow heavily on other modalities to achieve these ends.

The tip of the proverbial iceberg…

The above is by no means a comprehensive list of massage therapy modalities. There are literally dozens of different types of massage, used in everything from lymphatic drainage, body realignment, even neuromuscular therapy that seeks to balance the nervous system.

Posted 40 weeks ago

Hamstring Strains in Soccer Video

Posted 42 weeks ago

(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6Djv9U3jiI)

Posted 42 weeks ago

FIFA World Cup Fever

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From the die-hard supporters, to devoted players, and little dreamers in the backyard – it’s unlikely that you’ll manage to escape the craze that comes with the FIFA World Cup. Even if you’re not normally a football fan, you’ll probably find yourself drawn into watching a few matches as the madness starts to engulf us.

 Football has the power to bring the proverbial pauper and king together. Like the Olympic games, it is a human experience that can bring races, religions, cultures and nationalities together with no other commonality than the joy of a shared experience.

 Football is an international language. According to Babbel, 1.5 billion people speak English (20% of the world’s population) and according to FIFA, 270 million people play association football (4% of the world’s population). But if you take into account the casual kick arounds in the parks, or on the dusty patches Africa’s huge continent, or in town squares pretty much anywhere in the world, the number is likely to dwarf the number of English speakers in the world. EVERYONE can kick a ball around for free, which makes it a powerful force for change throughout the world.

 Here are a few injury facts and figures that you can drop into conversation during this month’s World Cup.

1) Apart from concussions, nearly 83% of injuries occur to the lower limb, most commonly the ankle in men and the knee in women

 2} Nearly a quarter of all injuries are caused by tackling

3] Midfielders are most at risk experiencing nearly 40% of all the injuries on a pitch Muscle strains to the thigh – most frequently the hamstring muscle are in the top three injuries. {This is often a consequence of tight hip flexors in amateur players in my experience.)

4} Muscle injuries are often associated with a burst of acceleration/sprinting, sudden stopping, lunging, sliding (over stretching the muscle) or a high kick. Whereas ankle and knee injuries, where ligaments are strained, occur with cutting, twisting, jumping, changing direction and contact/tackling

·5} Groin pain is also a common complaint and may be due to poor kicking technique as well as weakness in the core and pelvis – 1 in 5 players will experience a groin injury in a season

· 6} And 40% of those groin injuries will cause a player to have to take more than 28 days off from play 

We’ve put together six printable/downloadable advice sheets on the most common soccer injuries, and how to both prevent and treat them so next time someone walks through the door with an injury, you can be ready to tackle their injury head on.

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 You can download the leaflets here, 

https://www.co-kinetic.com/landing/page?user_id=1577&campaign_id=781

 In most cases an underlying weakness or imbalance in the muscles of the leg, core and pelvis is the cause of many injuries. In fact your physical fitness is the single most important factor in preventing soccer injuries.

 Neuromuscular training for the knee can reduce the incidence of series knee injuries by 3.5 times

· A 3 x a week pre-season proprioceptive training programme resulted in a 7 x decrease in ACL injury and an 87% reduction in the risk of suffering an ankle sprain

·A strength training programme can reduce the incidence of injuries by nearly half (47%) compared to soccer players who did no additional strength training.

 If you want to understand more about any of these aspects then come and talk to us. A good training programme incorporating both strength and neuromuscular/proprioceptive training can go a very long way to helping you prevent an injury occurring in the first place.

Ticking all the right boxes and taking the right preparation will greatly reduce the chance of ijury but if obviously they still occur. So if you need help in tr.eating an injury or want to take steps in injury prevention I can help. I will assess range of motion and excess muscle tone and take steps offload the effects of games and training. 

If you’ve suffered from a soccer injury or your kids, family or friends have suffered from one, go and check out our downloadable leaflets at this link

https://www.co-kinetic.com/landing/page?user_id=1577&campaign_id=781&custom_page=https://landing.co-kinetic.com/soccerhandouts&thank_display=true

And be sure to check out our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/EnergizeSportsMassageWirral where we’re posting some World Cup-special posts packed with fun and informative tips and tricks to help you stay safe on the football pitch.

Posted 51 weeks ago

Video 3 The Long Term Consequences of Shoulder Impingement

Posted 52 weeks ago