Posts Tagged ‘massage’

Massage treatment for shoulder pain in Ely Cambs

Shoulder Pain

During this season of viral infections, I have noticed an increase in the number of patients attending my massage practice in Ely, Cambs with radiating pain in the shoulder. This is often located behind the scapula and into the shoulder where it is felt as a constant, deep ache. The pain will often extend down the back of the arm to the elbow, occasionally even affecting the little finger. It is associated with the coughing attacks triggered by a virus and originates in the serratus posterior superior a muscle deep to the shoulder blade, involved in the mechanism of breathing. Lifting something with the arms stretched out to the front can cause an increase in the pain.

If you have the symptoms of shoulder pain described, massage can give you enormous relief, you may very well have a trigger point exacerbated by the repetitive act of coughing and deep soft tissue release can dissipate this trigger point.  See your massage therapist as soon as possible and you can find me at the Complementary Health Centre in Ely Cambs.

Stretches for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Stretches for Neck and shoulder Pain

We are all working hard right now to get our desks clear in time for the holiday season. Stress levels are rising and this leads to neck and shoulder pain and tension.

Long hours at your desk or craning towards your laptop in the evenings can really exacerbate neck and shoulder pain. Don’t underestimate how much lifestyle can affect your body.  The key factor in muscle pain is often just the sheer number of hours you spend doing the same old things with no respite.I am always amazed at how much people expect their bodies to do without exercise, or worse, if they are actually taking time to exercise, without stretching out.

If your neck and shoulders are hurting then take a break. Go and get a coffee, Do a few simple stretches. Your neck and shoulders do a big job supporting your head and sitting hunched forward over your desk closes up your chest and puts strain on the muscles which keep your shoulder joints moving freely. Some gentle stretches will prevent these muscles from getting locked into position – remember to do the stretching gently, the idea is to make the muscles more comfortable not to pull them in the process.

Here are a few simple stretches you can try, always proceed gently and don’t overstretch.

The Levator Scapula is always a nuisance, it runs from the base of your skull to the corner of your shoulder blade. Always try to keep your head in a neutral position, as though it were floating from a balloon. If you feel a burning point of pain between your shoulder blade and spine about mid-way down your shoulder blade try gently dropping your head forward and then stretching it to an angle of approximately 45 degrees first in one direction, holding for a slow minute and then in the other direction. Remember to drop down the shoulder which you are stretching away from. If you move your head slightly more towards your shoulder it will then stretch the Trapezius along the side of your neck too.

To stretch across your upper back , stretch one arm out straight in front of you and with the other arm placed just above its elbow, pull the straight arm gently towards your body until you can feel the stretch behind your shoulder blade. Repeat with the opposite arm. It is essential  that you stretch your chest muscles to relieve the pressure on your back, you can do this whilst you wait for the coffee machine! Just stand in a door frame with your hands placed at chest level on the frame, then just lean your body forwards through the doorway until you feel the stretch on your chest and hold until its your turn at the coffee machine.

I would always advocate regular massage for neck and shoulder pain. It does lots to ease the tension in the upper body. It can sometimes take a little while to reap the benefits, many patients come to me in desperation after conventional medicine has failed to ease their symptoms. Often though, just one treatment will make a significant difference.

Can massage help sciatic pain?

Can massage help sciatic pain?

Firstly you need to understand something of why you are suffering sciatic pain. Sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated. There are a number of reasons why this can happen. A common one is caused by the piriformis pressing on the sciatic nerve.  In simple terms the job of the piriformis is to keep your hip neatly in place in its socket. If you run, walk a lot, spend hours sitting or driving your car, play golf, are a woman over 40, stand with your weight on one hip, are currently pregnant – the list goes on, then you are stressing your piriformis, it will become inflamed and press on your sciatic nerve causing sciatic pain, hence sciatica.

Equally problems with your lower back will irritate the sciatic nerve. This type of sciatica will often be accompanied by lower back pain. Properly known as radiculopathy, sciatica following the path of a spinal nerve root may be caused by damage to a disc.Therefore it is important to consult your doctor first because a doctor will be able to tell by examining you whether the sciatica is due to a herniated disk or piriformis syndrome. For quick reference,  sciatica caused by pressure from the piriformis is often worse when you are sitting down but less of a problem when you are standing or moving around but sciatica which is caused by herniation of a disc is eased by sitting down.

So, can massage help sciatic pain? If your sciatica is due to problems with your piriformis then definitely. A huge proprtion of the patients I treat at my massage practice in Ely Cambs have piriformis syndrome. It generally presents as pain in the buttock and may extend as far as the ankle, I would first check for a facet lock in your spine and if I suspect this may be the cause of your sciatic pain then I would refer you to one of the team of Osteopaths I work with at Ely Complementary Health Centre in order that it might be corrected. Once we are happy that all is fine with your spinal mobility then I can commence with the soft tissue work which will help to ease your symptoms and get you back to top form.

Is Massage an Effective Treatment for Muscle Pain?

Is Massage an Effective  Treatment for Muscle Pain?

What is massage and is it really an effective in the treatment of muscle pain and spasm? Manual therapy in the form of massage and stretching of the musculature has been practised for hundreds of years. In his writings, the Greek physician Hippocrates stated ‘rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose or loosen a joint that is too rigid’.

Neither muscles which are over tight and inflexible or conversely, lack tone and are therefore too lax will work efficiently.Massage skilfully applied can have the effect of mildly increasing muscle tone. Massage will never be a replacement for exercise but it increases the blood flow to the muscles bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients via the arterial circulation. These are exchanged for waste products released from the muscles during massage which are then removed by the venous circulation.The very act of massaging the muscle causes the muscle to react which helps to improve the muscle tone at the same time.

Massage has been widely used in the treatment of muscle pain since the beginning of the last century and is still the most effective way to remove ‘trigger points’-areas of knotty fibres in the muscle which may cause extreme pain, referred pain or sometimes just a reduction in the working efficiency of the muscle.A skilful therapist will be able to elongate the contractured sarcomeres within the muscle helping to restore to normal length and function.

There are many massage techniques which can be used to release tired contracted muscles.The majority of these massage techniques should not be particularly painful. It is important for massage to be applied slowly. When I am working on my patients at my practice in Ely I use a pressure release technique to remove trigger points. It requires considerable manual skill. Identifying and treating trigger points requires a sensitive touch. The massage therapist has to be able to find the trigger point by palpation and apply pressure to it within the patients comfort zone, identifying the point at which it releases thus reducing the muscle pain.

Trigger points are very often implicated in muscle pain though most people will never have heard of them. If you are suffering from muscle pain it may well be that you have active trigger points, especially if you perform repetitive actions during the course of your day.If you live near to Ely it would be well worth coming in to have a course of treatment with me to alleviate your pain.Once your muscle pain has been treated with massage it is certainly beneficial to have regular massage. Massage is as important an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle as eating sensibly,exercising regularly, stretching your muscles, hydrating properly and getting plenty of sleep. A healthy body needs to relax and de-stress, touch has been shown to be beneficial,massage is soothing and relaxing, it increases blood flow flushes out toxins and smooths out the muscle fibres and it has been shown to reduce blood pressure for a significant number of hours afterwards. In brief it is good for you.

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.