Archive for March 2011

Hip Pain and Leg Pain in Runners

Hip Pain and Leg Pain in Runners

One of the most certain things  to halt your running progress is to develop pain in either the hips or legs. It may well be too late if you are reading this but prevention is much better than trying to cure it.

If you have already developed pain then resting for a few days will help. A sports massage will also be beneficial and you will get good advice on why you have the pain and what to do about it. Remedial Massage Therapists are highly trained and very knowledgeable individuals. Their knowledge of anatomy and physiology is very detailed and they will be able to do lots to help.

If you try to push on with your running then you will only make your injury worse.  The most sensible way to approach running if you are beginning or returning after a long break is to get some condition in  your legs and glutes first. Your gluteus maximus is your big ‘powerhouse’ muscle. It needs to be strong to power you forward so find  a reliable source of exercises or seek out a personal trainer to work on legs and butt before you even think of running or you will be setting yourself up for injury.

Start out with run/walks and don’t go too far. Just fifteen minutes each time for the first three weeks is plenty and increase by only 10% from then on each week. Stretch out after each run and get regular massage to keep your muscles in good shape. Address any small niggles as they appear, don’t  ‘run through’  a threatening niggle in the hope it will disappear. Keep relaxed, injuries can sometimes appear when we are holding ourselves tense without realising it, mentally check every so often that you are running loose and relaxed.

Hip pain can be due to tight hip rotators, this can often be resolved with Deep Soft Tissue Massage and some advice from your massage therapist on effective stretching and conditioning. Knee pain can be due to tracking problems or tightness in the Quads, pain along the shin bone may be shin splints, caused by too much running too soon and on hard surfaces – try starting out on a treadmill or grass. It may also be aggravated by overly tight calf muscles.

A good massage therapist will be able to identify what is causing your leg problems and to alleviate them whilst giving you advice on how to prevent the problem recurring. Don’t underestimate the power of massage. I successfully treat runners every week at my practice in Ely, Cambs.

How to Ease Lower Back Muscle Pain with Deep Soft Tissue Massage

How to Ease Lower Back Pain with Deep Soft Tissue Massage

Deep Soft Tissue Massage is a phrase that gets bandied about quite a bit these days, along with trigger point release. So what does it actually mean and will it help your ease your lower back pain?

What deep soft tissue therapy is, is really just a gradual process of relaxing tense, tight, overworked muscle fibres using different types of massage techniques to encourage the muscles to ‘open up’ and allow work on the deeper muscles. The massage therapist will use more pressure than would be used for say a Swedish massage but the techniques can often be similar. If the massage hurts you then you should tell the therapist to ease off! A good therapist knows that they should always work within your tolerance levels – but it is up to you to help establish where those levels lie. Generally it is posible to gauge to some degree when you are working too strongly, but not always and working too deeply just causes the muscle to resist which is not productive.

Irritated muscles gather ‘ trigger points ‘ which you will recognise as knotty areas in your muscles, they develop in specific places which your therapist will know. They also cause specific symptoms so working to ease them out of the muscles is very beneficial. A muscle with trigger points is a muscle which is not firing on all cylinders! Deep soft tissue work applied during remedial massage will help to remove these little nuisances and get the muscle back to prime working condition.

Lower back pain can come from trigger points in a number of muscles, here in my practice in Ely, Cambs I help people get over episodes of lower back pain by identifying where their problems are, treating the cause and giving advice on how to avoid a recurrence of the problem. Lower back pain need not be a permanent feature of your life.