What is sports and remedial massage?
The main focus of sports massage is in the treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries, regardless of whether it's in a sporting context or not. Anyone can get injured, and how an injury heals can have long-term effects on a person's structure and function. Sports massage is designed to assist in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue that are caused by repetitive physical activity or trauma (whether pounding the pavements or sitting at a desk clicking a mouse), or by postural issues - such as those caused by carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, consistently wearing high heels or spending a lot of time in an inefficient sitting position. It can also help in the recovery of injuries such as sprains and strains, help improve the motility of scar tissue and improve the functioning of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Essentially, if there is stiffness, pain or dysfunction in any part of your muscular system, or you would like to prevent any such problems from occurring, sports massage may be able to help.
What happens during a session?
The first session will begin by reviewing your health history questionnaire, and having a chat about your goals and expectations for treatment, as well as answering any questions you might have about the sessions. We will then do an assessment and some movement testing, to gather more information in order to choose the best form of massage to suit your needs. The session itself will vary and could include techniques such as Soft Tissue Release, Myofascial Technique, Trigger Point Therapy, Muscle Energy Technique and Neuromuscular Technique, as well as more traditional massage strokes.
After your treatment we may prescribe one or two exercises for you to take away and practise at home, and ask you to observe over the next few days how you feel and any changes you sense within your body, which will help to shape your next treatment.
What should I wear?
Please wear what you feel comfortable and supported in - you may be moving around a fair bit during the session. Underwear, swimwear or a sports bra and gym shorts would all be suitable, as long as they're not too restrictive and allow access to the areas that we need to work.
How many sessions will I need?
This entirely depends on your reason for coming in for treatment, the severity of the problem and how long it has been a problem for. We usually recommend coming in for three sessions, and then re-evaluating together at the end of the third treatment to see what progress has been made.
What sorts of conditions do you treat?
The short answer - any sort of problem that occurs over time and is either caused or affected by the soft tissues of the muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments. This includes any sort of general muscular pain or stiffness, headaches, overuse or postural conditions (such as piriformis syndrome, frozen shoulder, tendonitis, carpal tunnel and plantar fascitis, to name a few), and recovery from accidents or surgery (after the initial tissue damage has been healed). We can also help to ease some conditions that you might not expect - some respiratory pathologies such as asthma or chronic bronchitis for example, as well as some gastrointestinal problems such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. We can also help keep you supple and in good working order whilst training for sporting competitions - as well as treating injury, sports massage is a valuable tool for injury prevention.
Don't be put off by the term 'sports massage' however - both tennis players and DIY enthusiasts can suffer from tennis elbow, and sitting at a desk for eight hours a day can create the potential for as many musculoskeletal problems as being a world class athlete!
What don't you treat?
Sports massage is a great tool for injuries that occur over time. Although it can be hugely beneficial for people recovering from sudden injury or surgery, time needs to be left in order for the tissues to heal adequately before sports massage can be used. We don't massage over open wounds, recent bruising, muscle tears, fractures, sprained ligaments or burns during their acute healing phase. During this phase the damaged tissue is in the early stages of repair and could be further damaged by direct hands-on techniques. Please wait until all the affected tissue is sufficiently healed and resilient enough to withstand sustained direct touch.
If you're suffering from any skin infections, contagious illness or fever, please reschedule your massage for when you are better. Get any undiagnosed symptoms checked out by your doctor before booking a massage.
Will the sessions be painful?
It may be possible that you will experience some discomfort during a session, but this will never be outside of your ability to cope with it - you will always be in control of the amount of sensation you feel. It should also feel like it's doing something beneficial, the so called 'good pain' that clients report experiencing, which is very different to the sensation of pain we feel when tissues are being harmed or damaged.
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