Sometimes it’s wiser to take a little time out than to miss out!
Many of us will put up with pain, try hard to ignore it and even ‘tough it out’ especially whilst training or participating in sporting events. But that isn’t always wise! Our brain is very good at sending messages converted into signs and symptoms to tell us to slow down or stop so we can heal and recover more quickly.
Appropriate treatment now will enhance your chances of a fast and full recovery and reduce the likelihood of injury recurrence.
We are all at risk of sustaining an injury just through normal daily activities such as work and leisure, but for those who participate in sport and train hard, the risk of injury increases. Musculoskeletal injuries such as overuse injuries, strains and sprains are very common, so when should we stop ignoring the signs and symptoms of injury?
Don’t ignore your injury if:
Pain alters your ability to function.
Inflammation of the affected area hasn’t reduced after 2-3 days.
If the pain is worsening.
You experience numbness/loss of sensation (does not have to be in affected area).
The affected area becomes red and feels hot.
There are open wounds or grazes.
An old injury begins to hurt or ache.
You are unable to bear weight on the affected area.
Any physiological body function is affected.
Of course pain doesn’t always mean that you have an actual injury, sometimes it’s simply from over exertion or using muscles that you don’t usually use. Common sense and professional advice will help!
Ignoring your injury could result in you having to take more time off work, missing out on leisurely events or not participating in an event or competition that you had planned for months. After all the effort, dedication and hard training the outcome could end in sheer frustration and disappointment.
Of course, sometimes you can get away with overstepping the line, but every time you do, you risk prolonging or worsening your injury.
Reasons for getting your injury assessed and treated:
Sometimes pain is not directly related to the effected area, it may be caused by something else (referred pain).
Inflammation can cause tissue damage resulting in long term injury or a chronic condition.
Untreated injuries can cause a build-up of scar tissue which can adhere to bone or neighbouring tissue.
Avoid further reduction of range of movement.
Avoid developing compensatory movement patterns that can create further problems.
Prevention of further injury.
Appropriate and effective rehabilitation.
Please note that if you have received a head injury, impact injury, fracture, dislocation or any severe injury then you should seek medical advice from your GP or consultant immediately.
Fit n Well specialise in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions that have been sustained through sport, work or leisure.
We aim to return you to your optimal functional fitness regardless of your sporting abilities, whether you are a professional sports person, an amateur or someone less physically active.
If you would like to discuss your injury and make an appointment please contact Fit n Well on 07977 427644 or email us using the link Contact Fit n Well
Shoulder injuries are one the most common types of injury sustained through strenuous activity or general overuse.
Below are some of the most common shoulder injuries and conditions that most of us will experience at some time.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The Rotator cuff is made of four thick fibrous tendons connecting muscles from the shoulder blade (scapula) to the upper arm bone (humerus). The rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) provide stability for the shoulder by securing the head of the humorus (upper arm bone) firmly in the glenoid fossa (ball socket joint of shoulder). On top of the shoulder joint is a bone called the acromian and in the space between the shoulder joint (subacromial space) lies a fluid-filled pad called the subacromial bursa which cushions the tendons. Together they function to assist movements of the arms.
Over 70% of the population in the UK will experience a shoulder problem at some point in their life with a high chance of rotator cuff injury being the source of pain. Given the relatively small size of these muscles and the amount of work that is demanded of them, they can become inflamed, damaged or torn due to trauma or repetitive overuse during sporting or non-sporting activities. The most commonly injured rotator cuff is the Supraspinatus tendon but any or all of them can be injured at any one time.
Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy
Rotator cuff tendinopathy mainly occurs in the subacromial space where there is an inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and the bursa that surrounds them. Tendons can become pinched and trapped against other structures of the shoulder known as’ rotator cuff impingement’. Inflammation of the subacromial bursa is referred to as ‘bursitis’
Torn Rotator Cuff
Rotator cuff tears are very common. Any one of these tendons can be torn by lifting heavy weights, overuse or sudden jolting movements. The likelihood of injury to these tendons increase with age. You can have a partial tear which is often caused be overuse over a period of time or a full tear which may be a result of trauma. Some common symptoms include pain on top of the shoulder or referred pain along the outside of the arm to the elbow.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Pain in your shoulder and arm when raising and lowering your arm.
Difficulty in reaching behind your back.
Pain when sleeping on the affected side.
Weakness in your shoulder when you lift or rotate your arm.
Redness and local swelling.
Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
This is commonly known as a ‘frozen shoulder’. The shoulder capsule and the connective tissue surrounding the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder becomes inflamed. This can be a very painful and debilitating disorder which restricts even simple movement. Severe inflammation can cause other problems in the shoulder such as tendinopathy and bursitis. The cause is not understood but the risk is believed to increase with age and is more common in women than men. Diabetes also increases your risk of developing a frozen shoulder.
This occurs in the joint where the scapula and clavicle bones meet (acromioclavicular joint). This type of injury is usually caused by a fall or sharp blow at the top of the shoulder. Often, the ligament, tissues and nerves are injured or even completely torn. Common symptoms include severe pain, swelling and sometimes bruising. A lump can be present in more serious injuries. Slings are often used to prevent movement and promote healing but more serious injuries may require surgery.
Shoulder strains are the most common type of shoulder injury. Many shoulder strains occur in the front or anterior head of the deltoid, where the bicep runs underneath the deltoid. Shoulder strains mainly happen when lifting too much weight or from pushing or pulling heaving objects. Strains can vary from mild to severe depending on how badly the muscle fibers have been stretched.
Osteoarthritis is often found to effect the acromioclavicular joint which is the joint at the top of the shoulder. Bones that have previously been fractured such as the collarbone (clavicle) and the top of the humerus are also prone to osteoarthritis.
If you are suffering from a shoulder injury or condition and would like help to speed up your recovery, improve your range of movement and mobility then contact Fit n Well.
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You spend days, weeks, months and even years training hard preparing for your sporting event and you have the attitude, dedication and determination it takes to achieve your goals.
You maybe trying to improve on last year’s time, be playing to win or just wanting to achieve your own personal goal.
Are you doing everything possible to achieve your optimal performance?
Pre-event and post-event sports massage will help you to perform at your optimal level!
The popularity and importance of pre and post-event massage is continuously increasing as more athletes are becoming aware of the physiological and psychological benefits. Sports massage is an effective addition to any training schedule regardless of whether you are a runner, triathlete, or any other sporting person.
Firstly what is Sports Massage?
Sports massage is the physical treatment of soft tissue combining a traditional manual therapy with a specialised scientific approach. Specialised techniques are practised to achieve optimal physical, physiological and psychological benefits.
Sports massage will enhance your physical performance irrespective of what sport you participate in. Sports massage can play a key role in the training for a sporting person and also benefit anyone who is physically active with a desire to enhance their health and wellbeing. It is a key component for the optimal maintenance of musculoskeletal health care and for the prevention and treatment of injury. It maintains good body health and is used for the treatment, recovery and prevention of sporting and non-sporting injuries.
Sporting activities can place unnatural stresses on our body but sports massage can quickly resolve problem areas that limit our range of movement and cause us pain. Sports massage is designed to be flexible and is tailored to the individual needs. It can be deep, stimulating and invigorating or soothing and relaxing. Specialised techniques concentrate on both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, tendons and other soft tissue. It is designed to release muscle tension and restore balance to the musculoskeletal system.
During a sports massage the therapist will aim to gradually break down knots and adhered tissues releasing tension from muscles, tendons and ligaments to reduce pain and improve range of movement. Techniques such as stretching, myofascial tissue release, trigger point therapy and mobilisations are often incorporated into sports massage therapy as part of a treatment plan to obtain maximum results.
An experienced therapist who has a good understanding of anatomy and physiology can easily identify problems within soft tissues such as muscle and tendon tension, trigger points and scar tissue/adhesions. Sports massage can be a little uncomfortable at times, however this is far outweighed by the many benefits.
A sports massage can help the performer prepare for their specific competition or event by focusing on specific muscles and joints for optimal performance.
Pre-Event Sports Massage
Pre-event sports massage can be considered from two days to just two minutes before an event.
A professional sports massage therapist knows what muscle groups to concentrate on depending on the nature of the sporting event.
Ideally you should see how you respond to pre-event massage prior to an event that has no major importance to you. This will give the therapist a chance to develop the most suitable treatment and ensure you get the maximum recuperative benefit from the tapering-down process that should precede an event.
Deep massage in problem areas can take a day or two to recover so this is normally avoided from up to two days before an event; however situations do and can arise when this rule is broken.
Effects of Pre-Event Massage
Circulation and flexibility within the muscles is improved.
Warms and stretches the tissues reducing chance of injury.
Increases range of movement.
Aids psychological preparation by reducing pre-event anxiety and stress.
Massage just before an event is normally practised at a fast brisk pace to warm the muscle groups that will be used most. Deep massage is usually avoided. Sports massage can be either administered over clothing or directly upon the skin. The use of oil is often avoided as it could actually hamper performance.
Pre-event massage should ideally precede your normal warm-up stretching and exercises and never used as a substitute to replace them.
Post-Event Sports Massage
A post-event massage can be done immediately after activity and is most effective if done within 24 hours post event.
Fast recovery is the primary purpose of post-event massage. After pushing yourself to the limits a sports massage will soothe and ease fatigued muscles and prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). It will assist a pain free recovery and return you to training with minimal soreness, inflammation and stiffness.
Post-event massage can identify injuries that may have occurred during the event, so therefore can be treated promptly.
Effects of Post-Event Massage
Blood circulation and lymphatic drainage is maximised to increase the removal of lactic acid and waste products.
Encourages the release of endorphins.
Lengthens muscle fibres.
Soothes tight muscles.
Calms the nervous system
Regular sports massage helps to keep the body healthy and can prevent musculoskeletal injuries and problems by detecting muscle fatigue, postural imbalances, inflexibility and strains and sprains.