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

Energize Sports Massage

12 Running Tips

Posted 299 weeks ago

Low Back Pain Explainer Video

Check out my website @ www.energize-sportsmassage.co.uk

Posted 303 weeks ago

Run: Better, Faster, Longer, Stronger

Do you dream of being that runner where every step of every mile is 100% pain free? No aches, no twinges or niggles, no lingering soreness from yesterday’s session. Well, you are not alone; research shows that as many as 79% of runners get injured at least once during the year. Stop. Think about that number for a moment; nearly 8 out of every 10 runners you see at your next race have been or will be injured sometime that year.

Think of running pains in terms of a spectrum. At one end you have severe, full-blown injuries, we’ll name that the red zone, which includes stress fractures that require time off. The other end, where you’re in top form, is the green zone. Mild, transient aches that bug you one day and disappear the next sit closer to the green end. Unfortunately, many runners get stuck in the middle, in the not-quite-injured but not-quite-healthy yellow zone. Your ability to stay in the green zone depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain. Often a little rest now, or reduction in training mileage and intensity, with some treatment, can prevent a lot of time off later. Developing a proactive long-term injury-prevention strategy, such as strength training, stretching, regular massage and foam-rolling can help keep you in the ‘green.’ Physical therapy is a lot like homework, not all of us like having to do it, but if you don’t do it, you’re sure to get in trouble at some stage! You can find more information and exercise leaflets for injury prevention at this link.


So, What Causes Running Injuries?

 There are a lot of theories as to what causes running injury but it seems the answer is obvious: running! Research has stated that “running practice is a necessary cause for RRI (Running Related Injury) and, in fact, the only necessary cause.” With running being the key risk factor for running injuries what other factors influence risk? Historically a lot of emphasis was placed on intrinsic factors like leg length discrepancy, pronation (flat foot), high arches, genu valgus/varum (knock knee or bow legged) and extrinsic factors like ‘special’ running shoes being stability shoes or anti-pronation shoes, lack of stretching. However, recent studies have shown there is no one specific risk factor that has a direct cause-effect relationship with injury rate or injury prevention. Whilst warming up, compression garments, acupuncture and massage have some evidence in reducing injury rates it is all a little grey. Leaving you with a multifactorial buffet of probable contributing causes to running injuries.

 There is however one specific factor that has been proven, and that is training error. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 60 to as much as 80% of running injuries are due to training errors. Runners become injured when they exceed their tissues capacity to tolerate load. A combination of overloading with inadequate recovery time. Poorly perfused tissues, such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage, are particularly at risk because they adapt more slowly than muscles to increased mechanical load. It’s a question of balancing training load and recovery. The training load has to be offloaded with massage, foam rolling, dry needling and stretching etc.

Factors that affect how much training load a runner can tolerate before injury will also have a role. There are 2 key factors that appear to play a part in this – Body Mass Index (BMI > 25) and history of previous injury, especially in the last 12 months. While high BMI and previous injury may reduce the amount of running your body can manage, strength and conditioning is likely to increase it. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of strength training to reduce injury risk and improve performance. Training error and injury risk share a complex relationship - it may not be that total running mileage on its own is key but how quickly this increases, hill and speed training. The old saying of “too much, too soon” is probably quite accurate. Injury prevention is really a ‘mirror image’ of the causes of an injury. So, if you understand the primary reasons for getting injured then you are heading in the right direction to staying healthy this running season. You can find out more on injury prevention, with recommended exercise leaflets, at the following link.  

 We have produced a series of prevention and treatment guides for the 6 most common running injuries which you can download here.  Dont Run into Trouble


 What are The Most Common Injuries to be Aware of?

Body tissues such as muscles and tendons are continuously stressed and repaired on a daily basis, as a result of both ‘normal’ functional activities and sport. An overuse injury often occurs when a specific tissue fails to repair in the time available, begins to breakdown initially at microscopic level and then over time develops into a true injury. So, the first time you feel a soreness, a stiffness or a pain is not necessarily when it all began.

 The most common injury is ‘runners knee’ or patellofemoral pain syndrome and accounts for over 40% of running injuries. This is followed closely by plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy and then ITB (iliotibial band syndrome), shin splints and hamstring strain. These injuries generally need complete rest or at least a reduction in training volume and intensity. Followed by soft tissue therapy to promote tissue healing and mobility. Although these are overuse injuries there is frequently an underlying muscle weakness and/or flexibility issue that needs to be addressed with specific rehabilitation exercises. Follow this link to find more specific information about each of the most common running injuries with specific rehabilitation leaflets for you to use.

 You can find our prevention and treatment guides for the following running injuries at this link:  Dont Run into Trouble


  • ·         Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints)
  • ·         Patellofemoral pain (runner’s knee)
  • ·         Achilles tendinopathy
  • ·         Plantar fasciitis
  • ·         Hamstring strains
  • ·         Iliotibial band syndrome                                                                                                                                                                                     While guidance can be given, it is general in its nature, whereas individual complaints may need individual attention. If you do pick up an injury (including 'tightness’ 'irritation’ or 'niggle’) that you’re worried about then we can help, the sooner it’s treated the better.

For help with injuries contact Larry Howard at Energize Sports Massage

Web: www.energize-sportsmassage.co.uk

Tel: 07768225580. Email: energizesportsmassage@yahoo.co.uk

 The sports massage techniques used in treatment may include deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release and kinesiology taping.

Posted 303 weeks ago

Balance Body and Bike

 People have been riding bikes since the 1800s, however in recent years the number of people cycling, has surged. No longer is it an elite competitive sport, it’s now a worldwide, mass-participation activity. The success of the GB Team in Olympic, Commonwealth Games and World Championships has helped raise the profile of the sports and greatly increased  participation levels among the general public.

It’s not just a means of getting you from A to B or the fact that it’s an opportunity that’s available to most people, regardless of age, size or ability, cycling is great exercise. It is an extremely effective form of low weight-bearing cardio (aerobic) exercise. While weight-bearing activity like running is important to maintain good bone health, it’s a very good idea to mix it up with some non-weight-bearing activities like cycling and swimming.

 Cycling can also be an adventure, getting out on trails and exploring new areas, taking in beautiful views or just the fresh air. And although your cycling sessions can be solitary if you want them to be, it is also a great sport to do with others, creating lots of opportunities for forming new friendships and building new communities.

 For those of us who are more competitive, there are plenty of opportunities to put ourselves to the test, with a huge range of long and short distance competitions, charity events, and multi-sport challenges like triathlons. This brings the added satisfaction of giving us physical goals and challenges to work towards.

 Then there’s the green aspect - opting to ride a bike instead of using a car keeps pollution and gas related emissions at zero.

 But most of all its fun and it makes you happy, thanks to the hormones called endorphins, which are released when you exercise.  

 But fitness can also be fickle. One minute you’re in the form of your life, and the next you find yourself struggling to rotate the pedals without pain. Cycling injuries are an unfortunate downside to the sport, and some people are more prone to suffering them, than others.

 There are two main types of cycling injuries, those caused by falling off (acute injury), often resulting in fractures, contusions, abrasions and concussion. And then the more common overuse injuries caused by the repetitive nature of cycling including overtraining, biomechanical stresses, often due to muscle imbalances, and incorrect bike set-up.

 This is why being posturally assessed and having your bike set up checked, are particularly important if you plan on cycling regularly. And just because you have it done one year, doesn’t mean you’re sorted. Everyday activities affect our muscles balances and this can change over time. And it is very frequently these muscle imbalances, that cause injury.

 We’ve put together leaflets on 8 of the most common cycling injuries. Each leaflet is packed full of practical advice on things you can do both in terms of your body conditioning as well as your bike set up, to both prevent injuries happening in the first place, as well as rehabilitate existing ones.

The majority of cyclists are familiar with the benefits of a regular sports massage for prevention and treatment of cycling related injuries, in particular the prevention of overuse injuries and stresses.

 The following injuries, specific to cycling, are covered:

-          Burning feet (metatarsalgia)

-          Achilles tendon pain

-          Knee pain

-          Iliotibial band pain

-          Hip pain

-          Back pain

-          Hand pain

-          Neck pain

 A combination of techniques are used to combat these problems including soft tissue release, trigger point therapy, deep tissue massage and Kinesiology taping

To download any of these leaflets click this link: https://www.co-kinetic.com/landing/page?user_id=1577&campaign_id=765

Posted 303 weeks ago

Back Pain and Massage:

The chain of command

Your spine is essentially the chain that forms the ‘backbone’ of your entire body. Without it you would be a blob of muscles, organs and soft tissue piled on the floor.

Your spine commands respect because it is the pillar that supports your body, allows you to walk, stand and sit, as well as touch and feel; because it forms the canal connecting the nerves from your body and limbs, to your brain. While your heart may be the vital organ that keeps you alive, without your spine you wouldn’t be able to move.  

There are three natural curves in your spine that give it an “S” shape when viewed from the side. These curves help the spine withstand great amounts of stress by distributing your body weight. Between the bony vertebra are spongy discs that act as shock absorbers. The lumbar spine (or lower back) connects the thoracic spine to the pelvis, and bears the bulk of your body’s weight.

Your spine is not rigid though. It allows movement through the intervertebral joints connecting the bony vertebra. These joints allow you to twist, to bend forward and backward, and from side to side. Large groups of muscles surrounding the spine, pelvis, hips and upper body all interact to allow for movements like walking, running, jumping, and swimming.

However, there are also muscles deep in your body that work constantly just to maintain your posture when you’re sitting and standing. It is essential that all elements of the spinal ‘chain’ work harmoniously together to ensure fluid movement without overloading structures resulting in injury and pain.

Any link in the chain that becomes ‘stuck’ will not only affect that spinal level but also the movement and strength of the chain above and below it. If the muscles around the spine are uneven in strength and length (flexibility) this too can affect the ‘chain’, altering the alignment and motion of the links.

Taking care of your spine now will help you lower the chances of experiencing back pain later. Many of the steps you can take to improve the overall health of your spine involve nothing more than practicing better body mechanics, or how you move and hold yourself, when you do daily tasks and activities.

Taking Care of Your Spine

Pay attention to early warning signs or pain. Although back pain is very common and nearly every person will experience at least one episode of back pain in a lifetime, it is essential to address any symptoms promptly.

It has also been shown in studies that early treatment and rehabilitation can prevent recurrent bouts of back pain and prevent the development of chronic lower back pain which can be very debilitating, stressful and depressing. It can affect your ability to work, play sport, socialise and sleep, all of which can further compound your pain cycle.  

Your back pain could be due to inflamed ligaments, damaged intervertebral discs, nerve irritation, bony formations on the spine, muscle imbalances such as weakness or a lack of flexibility, leg length differences, or muscle strains, to name just a few. Even the way we move (or don’t move) at work, school or sport can all be an underlying cause to the current pain.

How Massage Can Help with Back Pain

A massage therapist can treat both the pain and stiffness experienced from back pain.

Massage can promote healing through increased blood circulation to the area, bringing with it oxygen and nutrients essential for tissue repair. This increased circulation also helps to reduce inflammation.

Targeted massage can release tight shortened muscles and improve flexibility and muscle balance.

At Energize Sport Massage a variety of different techniques are employed to aid recovery and reduce pain including trigger point therapy, myofascial release, deep tissue massage and kinesiology taping.

The increase in endorphin levels is one of the biggest benefits of massage. This can help relieve anxiety and depression associated with lower back pain and improve sleep, which in turn will reduce the stress of managing lower back pain.

Should you need referral to another professional your massage therapist will also be able to help with this, for example, a dietician to counsel on a meal plan to achieve a healthy body weight.

Being active can help prevent back pain and losing weight can often go a long way to relieving pain.

Chat to us today about what we can do to help.

Contact: Energize Sports massage on 07768225580

Email: emergizesportsmassage@yahoo.co.uk

Back Pain and Sleep Issues

One of the most common issues back pain sufferers experience is sleep disruption so we have put together an interactive Back Pain and Sleep Guide to help you banish those sleepless nights and wake up feeling refreshed.

The guide includes:

·         6 Strategies for Improving Your Sleep

·         8 bedtime stretches to relieve back pain (with video links)

·         Sleeping positions that will help relieve pain (with links to videos)

·         7 Yoga Poses that will help cure most back pain issues

·         A morning stretch routine that will help ease pain from a restless night (with videos)

Click this link to find out more and download the guide https://www.co-kinetic.com/landing/page?user_id=1577&campaign_id=720

Disclaimer: This information is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case.

Posted 304 weeks ago

Feeling the Pinch?

The Stubborn Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Do you get a sharp, debilitating pain in your shoulder when you are performing tasks like brushing your hair, putting on certain clothes or showering? During these movements, where you raise your arm out to the side and then upwards over your head, do you alternate between no pain and pain? For example, during the first part of the moment you don’t feel any pain, and then suddenly your shoulder “catches” and there is sharp pain, followed by no pain again as you continue to move your arm upwards.

These are all signs of a condition called Shoulder Impingement Syndrome (SIS), where the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles that stabilise your shoulder get trapped as they pass through the shoulder joint in a narrow bony space called the sub-acromial space. Impingement means to impact or encroach on bone, and repeated pinching and irritation of these tendons and the bursa (the padding under the shoulder bone) can lead to injury and pain.    

Shoulder complaints are the third most common musculoskeletal problem after back and neck disorders. The highest incidence is in women and people aged 45–64 years. Of all shoulder disorders, shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS) accounts for 36%, making it the most common shoulder injury.

You shouldn’t experience impingement with normal shoulder function. When it does happen, the rotator cuff tendon becomes inflamed and swollen, a condition called rotator cuff tendonitis. Likewise, if the bursa becomes inflamed, you could develop shoulder bursitis. You can experience these conditions either on their own, or at the same time.

The injury can vary from mild tendon inflammation (tendonitis), bursitis (inflamed bursa), calcific tendonitis (bone forming within the tendon) through to partial and full thickness tendon tears, which may require surgery. Over time the tendons can thicken due to repeated irritation, perpetuating the problem as the thicker tendons battle to glide through the narrow bony sub-acromial space. The tendons can even degenerate and change in microscopic structure, with decreased circulation within the tendon resulting in a chronic tendonosis.

What Causes Shoulder Impingement?

Generally, SIS is caused by repeated, overhead movement of your arm into the “impingement zone,” causing the rotator cuff to contact the outer tip of the shoulder blade (acromion). When this repeatedly occurs, the swollen tendon is trapped and pinched under the acromion. The condition is frequently called Swimmer’s Shoulder or Thrower’s Shoulder, since the injury occurs from repetitive overhead activities. Injury could also stem from simple home chores, like hanging washing on the line or a repetitive activity at work. In other cases, it can be caused by traumatic injury, like a fall.

Shoulder impingement has primary (structural) and secondary (posture & movement related) causes:

Primary Rotator Cuff Impingement is due to a structural narrowing in the space where the tendons glide. Osteoarthritis, for example, can cause the growth of bony spurs, which narrow the space. With a smaller space, you are more likely to squash and irritate the underlying soft tissues (tendons and bursa).

Secondary Rotator Cuff Impingement is due to an instability in the shoulder girdle. This means that there is a combination of excessive joint movement, ligament laxity and muscle weakness around the shoulder joint. Poor stabilisation of the shoulder blade by the surrounding muscles changes the physical position of the bones in the shoulder, which in turn increases the risk of tendon impingement. Other causes can include weakening of the rotator cuff tendons due to overuse, for example in throwing and swimming, or muscle imbalances between the shoulder muscles.

In summary, impingement usually occurs over time due to repetitive overhead activity, trauma, previous injury, poor posture or inactivity.

When your rotator cuff fails to work normally, it is unable to prevent the head of the humerus (upper arm) from riding up into the shoulder space, causing the bursa or tendons to be squashed. Failure to properly treat this instability causes the injury to recur. Poor technique or bad training habits such as training too hard is also a common cause of overuse injuries.  

Over time pain can cause further dysfunction by altering your shoulder movement patterns which may lead to a frozen shoulder. For this reason, it is vitally important that shoulder impingement syndrome is rested and treated as soon as possible to avoid longer term damage and joint deterioration.

What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement?

Commonly rotator cuff impingement has the following symptoms:

▪   An arc of shoulder pain approximately when your arm is at shoulder height and/or when your arm is overhead

▪   Shoulder pain that can extend from the top of the shoulder down the arm to the elbow

▪   Pain when lying on the sore shoulder, night pain and disturbed sleep

▪   Shoulder pain at rest as your condition worsens

▪   Muscle weakness or pain when attempting to reach or lift

▪   Pain when putting your hand behind your back or head

▪   Pain reaching for the seat-belt, or out of the car window for a parking ticket

Who Suffers Shoulder Impingement?

Impingement syndrome is more likely to occur in people who engage in physical activities that require repeated overhead arm movements, such as tennis, golf, swimming, weight lifting, or throwing a ball. Occupations that require repeated overhead lifting or work at or above shoulder height also increase the risk of rotator cuff impingement.

How is Shoulder Impingement Diagnosed?

Shoulder impingement can be diagnosed by your physical therapist using some specific manual tests. An ultrasound scan may be useful to detect any associated injuries such as shoulder bursitis, rotator cuff tears, calcific tendonitis or shoulder tendinopathies. An x-ray can be used to see any bony spurs that may have formed and narrowed the sub-acromial space.

What does the Treatment Involve?

There are many structures that can be injured in shoulder impingement syndrome. How the impingement occurred is the most important question to answer. This is especially important if the onset was gradual, since your static and dynamic posture, muscle strength, and flexibility all have important roles to play. Your rotator cuff is an important group of muscles that control and stabilise the shoulder joint. It is essential the muscles around the thoracic spine and shoulder blade are also assessed and treated as these too work together with the entire shoulder girdle.

To effectively rehabilitate this injury and prevent recurrence, you need to work through specific stages with your therapist. 

These stages may include:

1.       Early Injury: Protection, Pain Relief & Anti-inflammatory Treatment

2.      Regain Full Shoulder Range of Motion

3.       Restore Scapular Control and Scapulohumeral Rhythm

4.      Restore Normal Neck-Scapulo-Thoracic-Shoulder Function, including posture correction

5.       Restore Rotator Cuff Strength

6.      Restore High Speed, Power, Proprioception and Agility Exercises

7.       Return to Sport or Work

The early stages of treatment will involve manual therapy, including massage to relieve pain and release tight structures as well as mobilisation techniques to restore normal shoulder movement. Strapping/taping has been shown to be helpful in reducing pain as well as ultrasound and laser therapy. As you move through the other stages of treatment your therapist will prescribe rehabilitation exercises specific to your shoulder, posture, sport and/or work demands.  

Corticosteroid injections can be useful in the initial pain relieving stage if conservative (non-surgical) methods fail to reduce the pain and inflammation. It is important to note that once your pain settles, it is important to assess your strength, flexibility, neck and thoracic spine involvement to ensure that your shoulder impingement does not return once your injection has worn off.


Some shoulder impingements will respond positively and quickly to treatment; however many others can be incredibly stubborn and frustrating, taking between 3-6 months to resolve. There is no specific time frame for when to progress from each stage to the next. It is also important to note that each progression must be carefully monitored as attempting to progress too soon to the next level can lead to re-injury and frustration. For more specific advice about your shoulder impingement, contact your local physical therapist.

The information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case.

Posted 305 weeks ago
<p>I<b>f you want to be the best you have to learn from the best.</b></p><p>Looking forward to another high class workshop with Paula Clayton on Achilles tendinopathy & Plantarfasciopathy the complete solution.. </p><p>Paula worked as a senior performance therapist for the English Institute of Sport and British Athletics between 2003 and 2014. She has travelled extensively to Olympic Games (Athens, Beijing & London), Commonwealth Games, World and European Championships with GB track and field as part of the medical team during this time.</p><p>Prior to 2003 Paula worked in Premiership and Championship football for 4 years. She has taught on two sports therapy degree programmes, delivered sessions to MSc students and sports medicine students, written a number of articles and has an MSc in Physiotherapy and an MSc in Sports Injury Management. Paula also delivers soft tissue master-classes to senior physiotherapists and soft tissue therapists within premiership and championship football clubs, National Governing Bodies and to soft tissue therapists nationally and internationally through her company <a href="http://www.stt4performance.com/">www.stt4performance.com</a>.</p><p>The workshop is to be held on the 23rd June 2018 at the London School of Osteopathy,12 Grange Road, London SE1 3BE</p>

If you want to be the best you have to learn from the best.

Looking forward to another high class workshop with Paula Clayton on Achilles tendinopathy & Plantarfasciopathy the complete solution.. 

Paula worked as a senior performance therapist for the English Institute of Sport and British Athletics between 2003 and 2014. She has travelled extensively to Olympic Games (Athens, Beijing & London), Commonwealth Games, World and European Championships with GB track and field as part of the medical team during this time.

Prior to 2003 Paula worked in Premiership and Championship football for 4 years. She has taught on two sports therapy degree programmes, delivered sessions to MSc students and sports medicine students, written a number of articles and has an MSc in Physiotherapy and an MSc in Sports Injury Management. Paula also delivers soft tissue master-classes to senior physiotherapists and soft tissue therapists within premiership and championship football clubs, National Governing Bodies and to soft tissue therapists nationally and internationally through her company www.stt4performance.com.

The workshop is to be held on the 23rd June 2018 at the London School of Osteopathy,12 Grange Road, London SE1 3BE

Posted 309 weeks ago

Upper Cross Syndrome

A common complaint linked to the modern lifestyle

Upper-Crossed Syndrome is a tightness of the upper trapezius and levator scapular on the dorsal side (back) which crosses with tightness of the pectoral major and minor on the front of the chest. Weakness of the deep cervical flexors in the neck cross with weakness of the middle and lower trapezius. This pattern of imbalance often causes joint dysfunction. Specific postural  changes are seen with upper crossed syndrome, including forward head posture, increased cervical lordosis and thoracic kyphosis, elevated and protracted shoulders and rotation and abduction of the scapula.


When driving passed a bus stop I am invariably greeted by the sight of a succession of people with heads bent forward and rounded shoulders gazing into their phones. I see plenty of potential future clients. Adopt this posture frequently and for long enough and your body will adapt to what you are asking it to do. The rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius become long, weak and stretched with the pectorals becoming short and tight. We are physically designed as hunter gathers and not meant to be sitting at a computer desk of driving for 7 hours a day. 

What to do about it.

If your job means you have to sit at a desk everyday then its something you don’t have much choice in doing. But all is not lost. A strategy of massage, stretching and strengthening is the answer. Soft tissue work can bring immediate relief to a condition that often leads to headaches, discomfort in the upper back and sleepless nights. I also provide my clients with a suitable exercise program via the website Rehabmypatient.com. 

The aim is to strengthen those muscle groups that have become long, weak and stretched. As well as strengthening the weak muscle groups the aim is to also reverse the clients posture at least a couple of times a day. What I mean by this is that if for instance you are sitting at the wheel of a car for hours per day you are sitting in a state of spinal flexion( bending forward) for hours at a time. To counter this then the client needs to adopt a posture of thoracic extension to be included in their exercise program. The soft tissue work and stretching  resolve the other problems of short tight pectorals etc.and also help with the discomfort of the weakened muscles that have in effect, become locked long and weak (rhomboids, lower and mid traps). 

So there you have it. It is a problem that tends to develop over a period of time which is why I see it as a problem of future epidemic proportions in the younger generation in particular who spend a lot of time on mobile phones, gaming etc.  

Posted 310 weeks ago

What is Sports Massage?

Therapy for sports and occupational injuries.

In order to understand the what exactly sports massage is and its benefits, one must first have an understanding of what is meant by this type of alternative therapy. It is important to understand that “Sports Massage” is not necessarily also just another name for” Deep Tissue massage”, which is simply applying more pressure. This type of therapy is more about understanding all the different layers of tissue in the body, and working with and through those layers to relax, lengthen, and release holding patterns in the body.

It is also important to note that a sports massage is not just for sports people. More than half of my clients come to me with work related / occupational related problems.

Sports Massage is also about working with the myofascial system and trigger points. The myofascial system is made up of a web of connective tissue that both wraps around the muscles and compartmentalizes the body. Muscles are made up of many layers of tissue. The place where muscle contraction occurs in the muscle fiber is called a sarcomere. These are microscopic units and it takes millions of them to contract for even the smallest movement.

A trigger point can be described as a hypersensitive nodule located in the myofascial / muscle tissue. A trigger point occurs when these sarcomeres are over stimulated and are unable to release their contracted state. The result is an interruption of blood flow to the immediate area, which in turn causes oxygen starvation and an accumulation of metabolic waste products (carbon dioxide and lactic acid). This trigger point then sends out pain signals to the brain, which causes one to rest the muscle and avoid using it. This in turn causes the muscle to shorten and tighten up. Symptoms manifested by myofascial trigger points can include muscle weakness, stiffness, edema (swelling), postural distortions, dizziness, and referred pain, meaning signals are getting confused in the body. Trigger points can also compress nearby nerves causing burning, tingling, and numbness in the areas served by the nerve. If left untreated, this often results in increased stress and anxiety for the individual, and more often than not causes lost time from work and other activities.

When you come in for sports massage, the therapist works through those layers of muscle tissue to seek out the trigger points, and works through the layers of fascia to find those “knots” and holding patterns in the myofascial system. By working systematically through the muscle layers the trigger points and myofascial holding patterns are released. This allows fresh oxygenated blood to flow back into the tissues that have been ischemic or oxygen deprived, providing much needed nutrients to the area.

Sports massage has a lot to offer for the individual suffering with back pain, neck pain, leg pain, and or arm pain and problems associated with muscle strain and overuse. It also helps one to decrease symptoms of anxiety and stress through pain reduction and relaxation.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of this type of alternative therapy and what it is all about. It is also important to remember that massage like most other aspects of holistic therapy is very individualistic. Everyone has different pressure needs when they come in. Some people feel they have to have a lot of pressure in order to get a really good massage and for them that is a good thing. Others come in and have massive knots but can’t tolerate much pressure at all either because they have never been worked on before or have not been worked on in a long time, or it is just simply too painful. Often people have the misconception that it should be a painful and hard massage, but if you are on a massage table just trying to endure the therapy for an hour, chances are your muscles are only tensing up more. I have found that most trigger points can be successfully eliminated without excruciating pain. It may take a little more time and effort, but it usually can be done. Its a case of getting regular feedback from my clients during the treatment and working within the individuals tolerance. When the muscles can get to a more relaxed state, it makes it much easier to get the “knots” out, and nothing so greatly effects a person’s well being as that healing touch.

Posted 310 weeks ago