A sports massage business from Coventry has been selected as one of 100 trail-blazing small businesses in the official count-down to Small Business Saturday, which takes place across the UK on 7 December 2019.
There’s a good chance you’ve probably sprained an ankle in the past at some point. You might have been running and didn’t see the stone, although it felt more like a boulder under your foot, up ahead. It may have been from that game of squash where you kind of knew you wouldn’t be able to make the return but you went for it anyway and the next thing you know you’re on that cold, hard court after falling sideways…
The rotator cuff in its simplest form is a group of four muscles that stabilise the head of the humerus in the glenoid fossa. These muscles are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. Don’t worry – we won’t be testing you on those names. Each one of these muscles plays a key role in the stability of the arm in movement.
While the commonly held notion that a tight muscle = a weak muscle, more recent research has started to move away from this idea. As it’s already been at the forefront in many ways regarding sport and exercise science, it’s the cyclists that have begun to break down the notion that tight doesn’t mean weak.
There are around 700 muscles in the human body and at any one time, you’re using a mixture of them. We don’t really think about our muscles until we have an injury, but our muscles allow us to consciously move our limbs, move around, and chew our food. What’s more, they manage processes that we don’t even think about, including heart pumping, and moving food through our guts.
Sport and exercise can be great fun, but injuries can really hamper your training. Even if you’re not a particularly sporty type, the odd slip, fall, or even the way you get out of bed can leave you in pain.
Ice and heat are well known for helping injuries, but how do you know what to use and when?
Well… you will when you’ve finished reading this!
Kinesiology Tape or KT Tape is an elasticated sports tape which is used to relieve pain, whilst still supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments without reducing movement. You may have seen the likes of David Beckham wearing luminous pink coloured tape on his back. Well, we’ll let you into a secret, the colour doesn’t mean anything! Tape comes in a variety of colours and patterns and that was clearly just his preference!
How does it work?
A sprain is a part or complete rupture of a ligament. Ligaments hold bones together, so they need to be strong and stable. They can be tricky to rehabilitate fully after injury as they have a poor blood supply which slows down the healing process. If a rehabilitation programme is followed correctly they can heal well - but not looking after sprains properly can lead to further injury.
Pain is defined as ‘an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage’. The definition itself demonstrates the multifactorial nature of our pain experience that includes physical health, genetics, beliefs and attitudes, work, family and relationships.
As massage therapists we often suggest that you go away and use a foam roller as part of your aftercare advice.
Using the foam roller correctly can make the effects of your massage last longer, delaying the build-up of tension between massage treatments, especially if you’re training hard or have a lifestyle which can be counter-productive to good posture. This includes having a desk-based job.
Massage has more benefits and is more effective long-term than using the foam roller as you would expect from a focused treatment by a trained professional. However, the foam roller is a useful piece of equipment to use on a regular basis, particularly when combined with stretching exercises.
Some areas would benefit from using the foam roller, others would benefit more from stretching exercises. This is where your therapist can help advise you, and let you know about the correct use of the foam roller.
We do get a lot of people asking if foam rolling “actually works”. Let’s start by looking at the reported benefits of both.
So there are more benefits to massage, however there are several similarities between the two which means using a foam roller as a part of your overall health routine can be helpful.
One of the biggest differences is the time you would need to spend on your foam roller to get the same results as a massage. Let’s just say it would take a while!
Also trying to foam roll your quads for 10 mins takes a bit of effort to support yourself and isn’t quite as enjoyable as someone doing it for you. Let us do all the hard work for you to gain those big results. 😉
Will using the foam roller hurt?
It can do, but it depends on what you classify as pain vs discomfort. People have a love/hate relationship with their foam roller! You use your body weight with the foam roller so, although it can hurt, you can control it (a bit!).
You don't need to spend much time using the foam roller. 5-10 minutes a day is sufficient, as long as you use it correctly and regularly.
We think the benefits of doing foam rolling outweigh not making it part of your routine, but ensure that you are using it correctly or you could risk irritating or injuring your body further.
So we feel that yes, foam rolling can have similar effects as massage, but the results are not as concentrated. Use your roller as a part of your after care advice between massages and after training sessions.
Need more advice?
If you need any more information about using the foam roller correctly, exercises to try, or if you want to road test one please speak to one of our therapists. We also have a number of foam rollers available to purchase.