Posts Tagged ‘back pain’

Muscle pain and stiffness – the remedy

Muscle pain and stiffness -the remedy

So your muscles are feeling very sore, tight and stiff. You are getting lower back pain or hip pain and its’s limiting your mobility. You are no longer able to do your usual exercise and even walking makes you hurt. Your inclination is to avoid exercise because the muscle pain is so troublesome. you checked with your medical practitioner and you have been sent away with painkillers. You are frustrated and very sore and it’s affecting your whole life!

What can you do about this? A lot more than you may think. Immobility is actually your worst enemy. What you need to do is get moving again. A study by the engineering dept at the University of Michigan showed a 69% decrease in the strength of tendons and ligaments over a period of just 9 weeks of imposed immobility. What is more shocking is that it took even longer to recover the losses when mobility was restored. A prime case for use it or lose it!

What to do then, it’s a bit chicken or egg isn’t it? Too sore to exercise, so no exercise, so even more sore. Well first of all I advise you to undergo an intensive programme of Remedial Massage. A series of intensive massage treatments will alleviate the worst symptoms and make exercise less uncomfortable. Deep Soft Tissue Massage can make a huge difference to muscle pain, clients are often amazed at just how much better they feel and how quickly.

I would be looking for problem areas which are causing the most restriction to movement. I would also do some detective work to discover what it was that you have been doing that has led to the problems with your muscles in the first place and if we can’t remove those causes, I will give you some advice on managing things so that you are more comfortable for more of the time. I will also give you some simple exercises and stretches to incorporate into your life to get you on your way back to mobility.

Massage is amazing in its ability to help with muscle repair, if you want to be an agile, healthy 80 year old you need to be putting things in place before you no longer have a choice!

Treatment for lower back pain

Treatment for lower back pain.

Let’s talk about muscle pain today and because the most common type of muscle pain is lower back pain let’s make that todays area of focus.

Just about everyone suffers from lower back pain at some point. Modern life pretty much guarantees that. Even when we exercise regularly, the things we do to excess during the day contribute to our most important muscles malfunctioning. This results in lower back pain.

The most significant muscles governing locomotion and stability are the glutes. The tight sling of muscles we all know as the buttocks.  Yet every working day in Ely, Cambs I can be almost certain that I will see at least one patient with problematic glutes complaining of lower back pain, usually more than one.
The glutes are central to the posterior chain. It is vital for them to work efficiently otherwise other muscles are recruited to do their job. The whole body then loses strength and balance and lower back pain can develop as a consequence.

So, you’re one of the good guys. You get up early to get to the gym before work. Excellent. Then you spend an hour sitting on your glutes on your commute to work. Not so good. You get to work and spend most of your day sitting in meetings, at your computer or on the edge of someone else’s desk with your body contorted at a strange angle whilst you exchange ideas. Bad. Then another commute before later, worn out, collapsing in front of the TV, very bad. It gives me lower back pain to just contemplate a day like this.

All that sitting overstretches the glutes. They get used to being lengthened for excessive periods. So much so that the muscle spindles re-set themselves in the lengthened position, so that when you stand up and ask them to work they simply don’t have enough tension in them to do the job they are supposed to do. The result of this lack of support from the glutes is often lower back pain and over tightened hip extensors which causes hip pain too.

So what can you do about it, you can’t give up work and it’s a pretty long cycle ride to get there. The answer is to re-balance the central stabilisers with stretching, exercise and massage.
How do you know if your glutes are weak? The quickest way to tell is to stand sideways to a full length mirror. Do you have a flat rear? It may look small  and neat but chances are if it doesn’t protrude much further than the line of your back, then your glutes are lacking tone. Does your pelvis tip forward slightly? Do you get low back pain? Time to do some work on your deep muscles.

Your first port of call should be your doctor to ensure that there is nothing amiss. If he or she says you are ok then you can start working on your recovery. When I see a patient we look at ways of putting this into action and work towards getting back to a body which is mobile and pain free.

New Year’s Resolution to get fit? Don’t forget massage

Keeping your muscles in good shape and avoiding injury

Most of us think about our fitness at this time of year. We determine to lose a few pounds and get back into shape. We may take up a sport again which we haven’t done in a while, maybe even just a few weeks. Take care! This is a prime time to pick up an injury. Having been relaxing for a couple of weeks you will have lost muscle tone. Jumping right back in there may just set you back further than you already are.

Before you go back to your chosen mode of exercise, do some functional conditioning. This means preparing the muscles which will be doing the work to cope with what you are going to ask them to do.  A remedial massage therapist can help here.  A postural analysis will help to reveal where you are weak and where you are overcompensating. Soft tissue release can help to alter the constrictions which may have led to injuries. Your therapist can advise you on exercises to strengthen weak muscles and will know which muscles are inhibiting the performance of those muscles. A stretching regime can be devised specific to your exercise regime. This will all help towards your fitness goals.

First step in your New Year’s fitness regime then? Get yourself  a Remedial massage and get your programme kick started!

Sports massage for muscle pain

Sports massage for muscle pain

I wonder what brought you here today? My first guess would be muscle pain. You probably punched muscle pain, sports massage for muscle pain, back pain, neck and shoulder pain or something very similar into your search engine and this is where the thread  led you.
Great! Because help and information on why you have muscle pain and what to do about it is going to be here in my blog.
Primarily I practise Swedish massage combined with deep soft tissue work of the kind most people recognise as Sports massage. The best option I could recommend for your  muscle pain is for you to pay me a visit, but most of you will be reading this from somewhere much too far away to take that option. So I will be offering advice and information on what to do about your muscle pain here in my blog.
Many of my patients wouldn’t consider sports massage. The reasons are myriad. For a start most of them don’t play sport and sports massage is for athletes, right? Well, wrong really, sports massage has many techniques to release muscles and ease pain but you don’t necessarily have to specifically have a sports massage to benefit from those techniques.
One of the first things I will do with a new patient is to find out a bit about their lifestyle.  What kind of work they do, how they relax, whether they play sport  or exercise. Do they sleep well. Have they had any illness or stress. It helps me to decide on a treatment plan and which kind of massage treatment they might benefit best from. That is, whether it needs to be relaxing or deeper soft tissue work.

A sports massage can give beneficial results very quickly. Deep soft tissue work of the type used during sports massage can have a remarkable effect but it needs to be carefully applied. Sports massage is not for everyone, I like to establish treatment by degrees.  Warming the muscles up and seeking out the trouble spots as I work.

The body is a complex thing and pain is often referred away from the area where the problem is, for example: a dull nagging ache somewhere deep  in the shoulder joint where you just can’t get at it to give it a rub and along the medial border of your shoulder blade is actually coming from the back of your neck. A few sports massage techniques will soon sort that out.
But it’s not all about sports massage. There are lots of other things that can be done about your muscle pain. Keep following my blog. I will be looking at problems which I encounter often and giving advice, posting videos of stretches and simple exercises which will help you, in fact all sorts! So save a link and visit again soon.