Archive for May 2011

Massage during and after Pregnancy

Massage after Having a Baby

Massage can be very beneficial during and after pregnancy. It is generally accepted that it should be avoided during the first trimester and if the mother has a history of miscarriage but other than this there are many instances where massage can be positively beneficial during pregnancy.

The action of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy makes the tissues stretchier to ease the way for labour. The disadvantage is that relaxin can, by relaxing the ligaments, make the load on the muscles greater and the joints looser. This can increase the load on the muscles and can lead to muscle pain. In addition loosened joints – for example the pubic symphysis, can become excrutiatingly painful during the later stages of pregnancy.

Massage can ease discomfort and pain. It can reduces tightness in the legs caused by oedematous tissues and may help to reduce the nightime cramps which some women suffer.

It is perfectly possible to treat a heavily pregnant woman lying on her side and a low back massage can be wonderfully therapeutic to ladies  in the last weeks of pregnancy.

Painful hips, SPD and low back pain in pregnancy can all be eased with massage and post delivery it can help during the transition of the body to it’s pre – pregnancy condition.

Tight Hamstrings and Lower Back Pain

Tight Hamstrings and Lower Back Pain

If you are suffering from lower back pain the first thing you need to do is a bit of detective work to help work out what is causing it. The first port of call is your health professional. Your doctor will be able to advise you on whether your lower back pain is caused by an underlying problem. You would be well advised to seek the help also of an Osteopath, look for one locally on the General Osteopathic Council website where you will find registered practitioners for your area listed.

One of the causes for lower back pain can be tight hamstrings. If the hamstrings are overly tight then they shorten the posterior sling, tilting the pelvis backwards at the hip joints and deactivating the gluteus maximus – the power house of your body. This can cause all sorts of problems, probably the most troublesome of which is lower back pain.

When I see a new patient I do a quick check to see what their glutes and hamstrings are up to. Usually I find hamstrings are busy doing the work of the glutes! Very friendly of them, but no use to you whatsoever, you need your glutes to be working efficiently. Often even when patients are specifically exercising the glutes it will be the hamstrings which are doing the work and getting tighter and tighter, which will just exacerbate a low back problem.

Stretching the hamstrings and learning how to exercise your glutes efficiently will help. Lie on the floor with one knee bent and the foot on the floor. Hook your hands around the knee of the other leg and then raise that leg  into the air. Gently pull the raised leg into flexion and until you can feel the pull in the hamstrings and hold for a minute or so. Repeat with the other leg. You should do this daily.

It may take some time to release off tight hamstrings, massage can help enormously in this process, helping to break down fibrous tissue and restore suppleness.

Treating Chronic Low Back Pain With Remedial Massage

Treating Chronic Low Back Pain With Remedial Massage

This week I have seen a number of patients with chronic low back pain. The thing which they are most concerned with is whether their low back pain can be managed with massage and exercise.

If your low back pain has passed from the acute stage and into chronic it is more difficult but not  impossible to treat. We start with an assessment of your condition. Depending on the circumstances of your particular situation. Whether your GP has already referred you for an x-ray or MRI scan and what the results were. What type of work you do and whether you can make any adjustments to that. How much exercise you do and how it affects your condition.

Often patients are just confused as to what is the best course of action to take, they have lost faith in their body and its ability to perform the tasks they ask of it everyday.

As a remedial massage therapist in Ely, my task is to help you back to feeling confident that you can do most of the things you need to do on a daily basis. Progressing gradually through a course of detective work and putting in place a treatment plan for remedial massage treatment and then a system for managing your body and keeping it in working order, we will get you back on your feet again.  I believe massage is a wonderful therapy, your muscles make up a huge proportion of your body. They deserve to be looked after and if you look after them they will serve you well.